Five of the NCAA violations levied recently against the Ole Miss athletic program reportedly involve left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who could be the No. 1 pick of the 2016 NFL Draft.
The Tunsil-related violations stem largely from allegations made by his stepfather, Lindsey Miller, that Tunsil had improper contact with sports agents and accepted improper benefits during his recruitment. Another of the Tunsil-related violations involves a Rebels assistant coach improperly allowing Tunsil to spend a night at his home, according to ESPN.
Tunsil is considered one of the elite prospects at any position available in the upcoming NFL draft, scheduled for April 28-30 in Chicago. Neither NCAA allegations nor a broken leg suffered in the Peach Bowl after his sophomore season, at least to this point, have damaged Tunsil's draft standing. Tunsil was suspended for the first half of his junior season last year while the school and the NCAA investigated the allegations, which threatened to affect his eligibility status. He returned in midseason yet played in peak form from his first start against Texas A&M, specifically against Aggies star pass rusher Myles Garrett. NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein recently projected Tunsil as a potential Pro Bowler, and likened him to Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith.
Miller levied the allegations against Tunsil following an altercation between the two last summer that resulted in a domestic violence charge against Tunsil that was later dropped. Tunsil claimed he was acting in defense of his mother, Desiree Tunsil. Miller, in turn, mentioned the possibility of NCAA violations in the police report filed on the incident, and later spoke to the NCAA.
The NCAA has sent the school a notice of allegations including 28 violations, including 13 involving the football program and nine that have occurred during head coach Hugh Freeze's tenure, according to the ESPN report. The violations under Freeze's watch are not considered major, and Ole Miss cited "no surprises" in the notice of allegations.