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Lake City native Laremy Tunsil no-show at Dolphins news conference

First-round draft pick had 'allergic reaction'

Lake City native Laremy Tunsil was a no-show at his introductory news conference in Miami on Friday because of an allergic reaction.

He was scheduled to make the appearance the day after he was drafted to the Miami Dolphins.

Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said he was unsure what caused Tunsil's allergic reaction.

"We're trying to figure that out now," Gase said.

The former standout at Columbia High School in Lake City was one of the most talked about players taken in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night.

Presumed top five pick Tunsil was selected 13th overall by the Dolphins after a video showing him smoking from gas mask-bong contraption was posted on his Twitter account just minutes before the first round began.

Later, a photo was posted on his Instagram showing an alleged text message exchange between the offensive lineman and an Ole Miss football staff player that included Tunsil’s request for money for bills.

Tunsil initially denied taking money while playing at Ole Miss.

When Tunsil was pressed about whether he took money, he said, "I'd have to say yeah."

The seemingly coordinated cyberattack potentially cost Tunsil millions because of the draft night slide. It could also have lingering effects for an Ole Miss football program.

Tunsil said he believes that both of the social media accounts were hacked, but it's unclear if that was actually the case.

News4Jax spoke to a former sports agent about how much of an impact social media can have on professional prospects.

“Timing is everything, and that was timed to be somewhat of a bomb. And it hit, it certainly hit. You saw one of the best players in the draft backslide,” said attorney and former sports agent John Phillips. “It was supposed to be the greatest moment of his life, and he's dealing with marijuana and whether he made money for his mama.”

The text messages posted on Instagram appeared to be him asking the coach for money. The texts were dated Feb. 15, 2015 and read, "Coach I need help paying my rent."

Then another text dated April 7, 2015 read, "Coach moms light bill is due, what should I do about it" and “It's 305.”

Phillips said conversations like that happen all the time for college athletes.

“There's not a college campus that plays major football and brings these kids in from almost destitute that doesn't deal with the need to help mama pay rent. That's where their head's at,” Phillips said.

The University of Mississippi will investigate Tunsil's comments that he accepted money from a member of the football staff while playing at the school.

The university said in a statement Friday it is "aware of the reports from the NFL Draft regarding Laremy Tunsil and potential NCAA violations during his time at Ole Miss" and "will aggressively investigate and fully cooperate with the NCAA and the SEC."

Ole Miss is currently under NCAA investigation and received a notice of allegations from the governing body in January regarding violations in football, women's basketball and track and field.

Now that Tunsil has acknowledged taking money while at Ole Miss after he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins, it's unclear how the NCAA will handle the new information. The NCAA could delay the current case while it and Ole Miss conduct investigations, or the governing body could start a new case against the university.

NCAA spokeswoman Emily James said Friday morning in an email response to The Associated Press that the NCAA does not "comment on current, pending or potential investigations."

The university has not disclosed what the violations the NCAA said it has committed, but Tunsil was suspended seven games last season after the NCAA ruled he received several illegal benefits, including the use of three loaner cars.

The current case recently received a 30-day extension and a response from Ole Miss is due in late May.

Phillips said there is a possibility that Tunsil could file a lawsuit, both civilly and criminally, because of the hacking, but he and his representatives may simply choose not to and put both the video and the text messages in the past.

“The bigger lesson is be smart. Social media, whether it's you or I, or somebody that's on the verge of being a multi-millionaire, it follows you and it sticks around. People can hack your account. Yeah, it's illegal, but certainly it's a risk,” Phillips said.

Jason Pack, spokesman for the FBI in Mississippi, said "The FBI is not currently involved in the matter and has not heard from anyone involved in the incident."

Tunsil's troubles cast a dark cloud over a historic night for Ole Miss. It was the first time the school had three players selected in the first round of the draft.