“Tunsil and the agents”

Let me see if I’ve got this timeline straight:

  • At the end of June last year, Laremy Tunsil gets in a tussle with his step-dad that stemmed from an argument they had about Tunsil “riding around with football agents” and is arrested as a result of the altercation.
  • That, in and of itself, isn’t an issue with regard to Tunsil’s eligibility, as Tunsil can speak with certified NFL agents and still maintain his eligibility as long as he doesn’t accept any impermissible benefits or sign.
  • In the face of that, Ole Miss remained calm.  “We are aware that Laremy and his family have met with potential agents, which is within his NCAA rights as a student-athlete,” Freeze said in a statement to The Clarion-Ledger on Tuesday afternoon. “Regarding the altercation, we will continue to gather facts and cooperate with the proper authorities.”
  • Nevertheless, in an abundance of caution, the school elected to sit Tunsil for the first six games of the 2015 season.  Then, in mid-October, the NCAA issued a seven-game suspension that allowed him to return against Texas A&M on Oct. 24.  The suspension wasn’t tied to receiving benefits from an agent or signing with an agent, but it was made clear that Tunsil received impermissible financial benefits from third parties and “was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators”.

Whew.  I mention all of that to set up what Mark Schlabach and Nicole Noren report about Tunsil’s camp investigating the source of the embarrassing leaks on the evening of the NFL draft that cost Tunsil some money as his draft stock sunk.

Tunsil, a former All-American offensive tackle at Ole Miss, hired a man to work as his business manager and financial adviser in mid-October, about two-and-a-half months before his junior season with the Rebels ended, according to the sources. The man scheduled agents’ meetings with Tunsil and his mother, Desiree Polingo, and handled other duties for him.

Tunsil fired the business manager after other agents informed Tunsil that the man wasn’t licensed or registered to work as a financial adviser but was a “runner,” a term used to describe someone who gives money and other benefits to a player in order to entice the player to sign with an agent or financial adviser with whom the runner is working.

The sources said the business manager gave Tunsil a new cell phone in mid-October. People close to Tunsil believe the man might have accessed Tunsil’s social media accounts Thursday by logging into them through his old phone.

So while Tunsil was on suspension for accepting improper financial benefits, he takes on a business manager/adviser whom he then cans when he suddenly discovers it’s a no-no to deal with “someone who gives money and other benefits to a player”.  Are we really expected to buy that?  More to the point, are we supposed to believe that Ole Miss bought that?  Or was the school into full don’t ask, don’t tell mode by then, hoping to ride things out until season’s end?

And now, Team Tunsil is reportedly in hot pursuit of this guy.  So I wonder, what happens if they manage to finger him and turn their evidence over to authorities?  For one thing, do you think the NCAA might want to discuss things with this person?

College players cannot hire agents, per NCAA rules, while they are playing or undeclared for a professional league’s draft. The NCAA has rules that broadly define what an “agent” is, and those rules can include people acting as financial advisers to players. An NCAA official declined comment to Outside the Lines about whether it is investigating anything related to Tunsil’s former business manager/financial adviser, citing policy that prohibits it from commenting on current, pending or potential investigations.

I guess the NCAA might, after all.  And it’s Tunsil’s folks that are apparently driving the bus that might make that possible.  Makes you wonder if Hugh Freeze has spoken with his agent about that yet.

 

13 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA

13 responses to ““Tunsil and the agents”

  1. If this guy was a runner, he’s an agent in the NCAA’s eyes. Just go ask AJ to whom had no idea the guy he sold the jersey. Alas, Greg McGarity isn’t the AD at Ole Miss.

    • Argondawg

      The kid is texting that he needs money for rent and his mom’s water bill but he can hire a business manager??? Yet I have no faith in the NCAA. The days of truly fearing them are over. I am not sure who the law is anymore.

  2. Uglydawg

    Freeze’s agent? An EENT Doctor. While Hugh’s eyes have seen no evil, his ears have heard no evil and his nose has smelled no poticular evil, he does have Tunsilitis. It’s treatable, though. He’ll be fine.

  3. Russ

    While anyone with half a brain knows Tunsil has been getting paid by Ole Miss since he got there, there are enough blanks in the story for the NCAA to let it go. They have zero backbone, and like Bluto said, McGarity ain’t in Oxford.

  4. PTC DAWG

    If anyone thinks Ole Miss hasn’t been playing hard and fast with the rules lately, they haven’t been paying attention.

  5. Normaltown Mike

    c’mon, he’s just like every other college kid, hiring a business manager to open his mail, schedule meetings, etc.

    Why doesn’t the NCAA come off it’s high horse and accept the fact that many (if not most!) college kids have a manager these-a-days.

  6. Macallanlover

    It is a no-brainer, a flop hand for the NCAA….but they will struggle with it. Of all the nit picky violations they freak out over (many with value less than $50 or a simple phone call/text) they spend years on items worth tens, or hundreds, of thousands dollars. How long did it take them to get around to the Reggie Bush housing arrangement? About a decade I think. They have a history of majoring in minors and issuing disproportionate punishments. Really don’t get why the schools don’t pull away from this incompetent organization, especially in D1 football. UGA and Oklahoma had it right back in the 70s, imo.

  7. JordanDawg76

    One thing that gets overlooked regarding Tunsil is the way he treated his “commitment” to UGA before making a b-line to the ‘Sip. As many of us know who follow recruiting, Tunsil was committed to the Good Guys for a very long time until about a week or so left before signing day. As the story goes, he went on a trip to the ‘Sip and became so enamored with the program and the song and dance done by Mr. Freeze and his staff that he couldn’t contain his excitement and switched his “commitment” immediately. Our former head Dawg Mr. Richt heard of this transgression and hopped on a jet to see Tunsil at his home to verify if the switch was in fact true and to try to secure his previous “commitment”. Mr. Richt met with Tunsil and his family only to walk into a losing situation. In fact, as the story goes, his family had on Ole Miss shirts during Mr. Richts visit. Grant it, it’s recruiting and we all know how fickle “commitments” from teenagers can go, but if that story is indeed true, it showed the true lack of class these individuals have. Now, you start from there and you can clearly see why we are here in regards to the life of Tunsil. Those little decisions can show character flaws that the entire family evidently possesses. We all know what happened during that visit to the ‘Sip. Once you create a monster, containing him is another issue within itself. The sad part is, the money that the family so desperately chases will be there in the end regardless of character flaws, NCAA issues and bong hits!

    • Derek

      I’m never going to attack a family that has nothing for taking what someone wants to give them. The people with character problems are the ones that gave them the enticement in the first place. There’s a difference between putting your kid on the trading block like Mr. Newton admitted to doing and a family with nothing being handed money that they desperately need. If the family had their hands out through the process, presumably we’d never have gotten the commitment in the first place. He have been in a bidding war with auburn.

    • Based on that logic – I suspect most of us have character flaws. I’m surely not the only person around these parts that has ever held multiple job offers at one time yet chose the best compensation package at the end even though I got along really well with the people at one of the companies I turned down and really liked what they were offering. Wearing the shirts for another school is a good example of poor judgment, but that doesn’t equate to having a flawed character.

  8. Lrgk9

    Breach of Promise.

    Hell has no fury like a woman or Agent’s Runner scorned…

  9. Debby Balcer

    I wonder if the stepdad had anything to do with this. Tunsil was surrounded by vultures.