After Laremy Tunsil's seeming admission to soliciting and receiving impermissible benefits from Ole Miss coaches in college, the university "will aggressively investigate and fully cooperate with the NCAA and the SEC," according to the AP's David Brandt. The announcement comes two days after Tunsil was drafted No. 13 overall to the Miami Dolphins.
As has long been the case with Ole Miss and NCAA investigations, however, everybody in a position to comment on this most recent fright-wig has remained very hush hush. An NCAA flack gave the standard no comment on "current, pending or potential investigations," while Ross Bjork merely said that he was "working on getting answers to all of this." He further told ESPN on Saturday:
"We went to work immediately on Thursday night and we have made a lot of progress. The facts are way more important than speed and a public display of the process. We are working with all parties to find an answer and a resolution."
In any case, Ole Miss' canned promise of cooperation with the NCAA and SEC would seem to betray the beginnings of an NCAA probe. How this newest investigation would square with the notice of allegations case already underway remains unclear, says Brandt: "The NCAA could delay the current case while it and Ole Miss conduct investigations, or it could start a new case against the university." And why not: hundreds of billable hours paid into the pockets of NCAA lawyers, all to figure out if Laremy Tunsil received monetary assistance for his electric and water bills.
Those already lusting for heavy NCAA sanctions against Ole Miss have found much to salivate over in the last few days. The firestorm has been shrill fast-moving. Trying to slow things down and work through whatever process broke down, in turn leading to a situation where Tunsil could admit "I'd have to say yeah" to a question about receiving financial assistance from a coach, seems almost moot at this point. He said it, and answers such as those act as dog whistles to the Mark Emmerts of the world.
Still, now that he's untethered from the antitrust rules of the NCAA, Laremy Tunsil has no obligation to speak to anyone bearing their aegis, and it'd take a substantial amount of hubris for NCAA investigators to come knocking anyway. By all means ask Tunsil what you like, people that forced him to sit out half of his most recent football season. He no longer needs the NCAA, but they desperately need him if real, toothed levies are within their purview.
Certainly John Miller, who purportedly is Tunsil's contact in the screen-capped text messages, and Barney Farrar, the assumed "Barney" to whom Miller directs Tunsil, have a lot of explaining to do, both to Ross Bjork and the NCAA. Farrar, for his part, denied ever giving money to Tunsil:
Ole Miss football support staffer Barney Farrar told me he has not given Laremy Tunsil money and that Tunsil did not ask him for any money.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) April 29, 2016
Should one or both of them get the ax, though, consider the asinine absurdity of what happens when the NCAA apparatchik gets its claws into you: punishment by job termination merely for helping a student athlete pay his bills. And that makes the coaches the bad guys?
Whatever happens, those within the OLE MISS CHEATIN' BEARS echo chamber can continue to stan for the NCAA's retrograde and inherently racist amateurism rules. The system is a criminal failure, built to enrich the very few. If Tunsil asked for and received money to pay his bills, so what?