Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil and his stepfather, Lindsey Miller, gave vastly different accounts of an altercation between the two on Friday during a court hearing in which a protective order against Tunsil was dismissed.
Tunsil, one of the nation's top offensive linemen, was arrested on a domestic violence charge last month for an alleged assault of Miller. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said in a statement issued on June 27 that Tunsil acted in protection of his mother, Desiree, from Miller, while Miller maintained Tunsil was the aggressor. Since then, Miller has alleged NCAA violations of Tunsil accepting improper benefits not only from sports agents but in his 2012 recruitment by the Rebels, as well.
Tunsil's first public comments about the incident with Miller came in Lafayette County court Friday, and Rivals wrote a detailed account of the differences between Tunsil's story and Miller's.
According to the report, Miller said he told Tunsil's mother that it was stupid of her to allow the player to interact with agents, and that she then went outside to tell Laremy Tunsil that Miller had called her stupid. By Miller's account, he tried to shake Tunsil's hand as the player entered the house when Tunsil then pushed him and continually hit him. Miller said he suffered a "severe" head injury and described the alleged blows as "deadly."
Miller also acknowledged he was offered $3,000 by TMZ for photo evidence of his injuries, which TMZ eventually published, but he said he did not accept any payment.
Tunsil, in turn, said in court that he witnessed Miller shove his mother into a chair. Tunsil said he told his mother, "We don't need (Miller) at all," before Miller pursued him, poked him in the chest and told him to tell his mother to "get her things and get out." Tunsil said the fight with Miller began from there.
Tunsil's playing status for the season is unclear due to the NCAA investigation. The Rebels open the season Sept. 5 against UT-Martin.