Perhaps the most unbelievable part of Laremy Tunsil’s unbelievable night was when he did an otherwise simple thing: he told the truth. After first demurring, he admitted the screenshots of texts that popped up on his Instagram account were real, and agreed that they showed exchanges between him and an Ole Miss coach about money.
We are so accustomed to athletes lying about their social media accounts being hacked to cover up having done something stupid, yet when Tunsil’s accounts were legitimately hacked—the screenshots were posted as he was being interviewed by Suzy Kolber—he told the truth instead of hiding.
(A sign of how rare this is? “There’s no way I heard that correctly,” one reporter said after Tunsil’s press conference. “There’s no fucking way that just happened.”)
It is worth stopping for a moment and noting what Tunsil told the truth about. According to the texts, he asked his coaches for help paying his rent and his mother’s utility bill. Basic expenses Tunsil could easily cover if the NCAA didn’t enforce an amateurism standard that prevented him from being paid what he was worth, and if the NFL didn’t encourage the continued existence of a free minor league. It is a nothing crime—if you can even call it that—that Tunsil commendably admitted to committing.
But ESPN draft pundit Todd McShay has a different opinion. McShay, riding hard for Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze, thinks Tunsil taking responsibility for his actions is actually a sign of immaturity:
One thing Tunsil did today that was his fault, and he never should have done, is answering those questions, then go sell out the coaching staff at Ole Miss. He’s going to have to mature very quickly or else this league is going to eat him up.
McShay—just the type of pundit to rip a player for not standing up and taking questions after a heartbreaking loss—thinks the mature thing to do was for Tunsil to duck reporters after a news-breaking controversy. He also thinks the crime here wasn’t 46-year-old Hugh Freeze and his Ole Miss staff paying the “immature” Tunsil in violation of NCAA rules, but instead Tunsil admitting it had happened.
This Laremy Tunsil shitshow is great because it has allowed the dolts of the NFL to show their asses, while the nominal subject of this controversy didn’t do anything wrong. Or, to put it another way, the guy videotaped smoking a gas mask bong under a Confederate flag is more mature than Todd McShay.