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Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze 'shocked' by Tunsil admission

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze expressed surprise Thursday that former Rebels star Laremy Tunsil stated during a press conference last week at the NFL draft that he received money from a school official during his career with the program.

Tunsil's admission came when he was asked about alleged text messages posted by a hacker to his Instagram account that showed conversations between Tunsil and an Ole Miss official in which Tunsil asked for money.

Freeze said on an SEC media teleconference Thursday that he was "shocked like everyone else living it out in real time," per The Orlando Sentinel. That would suggest the matter wasn't already part of the ongoing NCAA investigation into potential violations in the Ole Miss football program. Tunsil was selected No. 13 overall by the Miami Dolphins, and the school followed the next day with an announcement that it would investigate the allegations.

"Since draft night we've had adversity around our place. I know our administration is aggressively working to reach a resolution, and I'm told we've made a lot of progress, but facts are more important than speed or a public response," Freeze said Thursday, per the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. "That's difficult for me, because I want to respond. Our administration is continuing to work with all parties and reach a conclusion as soon as possible. We hope that's coming quickly."

It's now a non-issue for Tunsil, who gave up his last year of eligibility to enter the draft as an underclassman. Tunsil's Twitter account was also hacked as the draft got underway last Thursday, as a video that showed Tunsil smoking from a bong through a gas mask was posted to his account.

Tunsil told NFL Network's Deion Sanders after he was drafted that the video was two years old and that he had passed all recent drug tests. NFL Media's Jeff Darlington reported Tunsil will not face NFL discipline over the video.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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