Laremy Tunsil no-show at press conference due to allergic reaction

ByJames Walker ESPN logo
Friday, April 29, 2016

Miami Dolphins first-round draft pick Laremy Tunsil had a medical situation and did not appear at his introductory press conference Friday, one day after slipping in the draft amid a series of social media posts on allegedly hacked accounts belonging to him.

Tunsil made it to South Florida from the NFL draft in Chicago and suffered an allergic reaction, according to Dolphins vice president Mike Tannenbaum and head coach Adam Gase. It was another strange episode to what's already been a tough week for Tunsil.

"We're trying to find that out right now," Gase said when asked to describe what happened to Tunsil. "He's with our medical people right now."

Tannenbaum said that Tunsil had been "in the building for a number of hours" and was "with our doctors now."

"As soon as we have more information we'll let everyone know," Tannenbaum said.

Miami's brass was left to speak on behalf of Tunsil, whose family also didn't attend the press conference. Tannenbaum emphasized that the team was comfortable with the pick, and that it was unanimous within the organization.

"Felt good about his character," Tannenbaum said. "Obviously there were some mistakes he made in his past. We were comfortable with that. All the research we had done, we're very comfortable with his character. The decision was made by the entire organization, including Steve Ross, and we're very comfortable with Laremy the player and the person."

On Thursday night, a social media video was posted just before the draft of Tunsil wearing a gas mask and smoking a substance through a plastic tube. The offensive lineman also admitted Thursday that he took cash from an Ole Miss coach, which sent shock waves throughout the program.

Tunsil was suspended seven games last year for taking improper benefits while in college. Tunsil improperly used three loaner cars without paying, according to the NCAA.

The NCAA launched an investigation into improper benefits after Tunsil and his stepfather, Lindsey Miller, filed domestic charges against each other last year. Tunsil said he attacked Miller after his stepfather assaulted his mother, Desiree Polingo. Miller said Tunsil's attack was unprovoked and that he was trying to stop his stepson's contact with agents. The criminal charges against both men were dropped in August.

Miller's attorney Matthew Wilson told ESPN on Friday that his client was not responsible for leaking the video of Tunsil smoking from the bong on Twitter, which was posted shortly before the draft started Thursday night before being deleted.

There appeared to be another hack after Tunsil was chosen, with an image going up on his Instagram account showing a text message conversation, allegedly between Ole Miss assistant athletic director John Millerand Tunsil, about paying rent and electric bills for Tunsil's mother. Tunsil's Instagram account was deleted a short time later.

Tunsil spoke at a news conference after his selection and the alleged hack.

"I'd have to say yeah," Tunsil said when asked by a reporter if he took money from a coach.

The Dolphins did an extensive background check on Tunsil during the pre-draft process and said he was the No. 2 overall player on their board. According to the team, Tunsil was very forthright with all of his transgressions during its communication, and that helped Miami make the final decision to select him with the No. 13 pick.

ESPN's Mark Schlabach contributed to this report.

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