Ole Miss

Ole Miss' Laremy Tunsil text messages reportedly real

LYNNE SLADKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS 
 In this April 29, 2016, file photo, top Miami Dolphins draft pick Laremy Tunsil smiles during a news conference, in Davie, Fla. Tunsil and the Dolphins were quick to agree on his value in the wake of his NFL draft freefall. The offensive lineman from Ole Miss signed his rookie contract before joining the Dolphins' rookie minicamp which began Friday, May 6.
LYNNE SLADKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS In this April 29, 2016, file photo, top Miami Dolphins draft pick Laremy Tunsil smiles during a news conference, in Davie, Fla. Tunsil and the Dolphins were quick to agree on his value in the wake of his NFL draft freefall. The offensive lineman from Ole Miss signed his rookie contract before joining the Dolphins' rookie minicamp which began Friday, May 6. AP

OXFORD -- Ole Miss has determined the alleged text message conversations between former left tackle Laremy Tunsil and director of football operations John Miller were real but is still investigating whether those messages were altered before being published, according to ESPN, which cited anonymous sources.

Tunsil allegedly asked Miller for money to help pay rent and for his mother's $305 electric and water bill in conversations dated as occurring in February and April 2015. The conversations were posted as screenshots on Tunsil's Instagram account shorted after he was drafted in April.

Athletic director Ross Bjork declined comment Wednesday, saying he couldn't speak at this point. The school said it would "aggressively investigate" the messages after they were released.

The Clarion-Ledger filed a still-unfulfilled open records request on April 29 for a copy of all text messages sent and received by Miller and director for high school and junior college relations Barney Farrar on the dates listed in the screenshots.

Farrar's name became included in the situation after one alleged message from Miller said, "See Barney next week."

Farrar told ESPN's Joe Schad he had not given Tunsil money and that Tunsil had not asked him for money. Attempts to confirm with Farrar independently weren't successful.

After being chosen by the Miami Dolphins at No. 13 overall, Tunsil told reporters that he accepted money from a coach while at Ole Miss. He declined to elaborate further on the situation in his introductory press conference with the Dolphins.

For more on the situation, visit ClarionLedger.com.

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