Laremy Tunsil’s text messages to Ole Miss assistant athletic director John Miller, in which he appears to ask for money for his mother’s rent and utility bill, are real, according to a report by ESPN’s Outside The Lines. The question is whether or not the leaked messages have been altered in any way. Ole Miss confirmed that the correspondence occurred to ESPN..
Ole Miss officials have determined that a text message conversation published to Miami Dolphins rookie Laremy Tunsil’s Instagram account during the NFL draft did happen last year, sources told ESPN’s Outside the Lines, but the school is still looking into whether the messages were altered before they were published.
In the conversations, which supposedly occurred in February and April 2015, Tunsil asked Ole Miss assistant athletic director John Miller for money to pay rent and his mother’s $305 utility bill. Miller responds to Tunsil’s request by replying, “See Barney next week,” an apparent reference to Ole Miss assistant athletic director for high school and junior college relations Barney Farrar.
Farrar told ESPN’s Joe Schad last month that he has not given Tunsil money and that Tunsil did not ask him for money.
Video of Laremy Tunsil smoking a bong through a facemask made headlines, leaking just minutes before last month’s NFL Draft, and costing Tunsil a chance to be selected in the top five or six picks, as well as millions in potential earnings. The text messages, which were posted to his Instagram profile later on in the night, likely have the bigger impact for college football fans, as they implicate an Ole Miss program already under NCAA investigation in serious violations.
After the leaks, Tunsil admitted to taking money from a coach during a media session at the Draft. Ole Miss followed up by saying it will investigate the allegations.