I almost made it to the end of vacation without a law-and-order story popping up, but not quite.
I got back in town late in the week and began to hear rumors of Laremy Tunsil and some kind of family incident.
What is being reported and confirmed is that Tunsil punched his step-dad. ESPN, quoting a source, reported that Tunsil reacted after his step-dad shoved his mom.
Hugh Freeze, without getting into details, said Tunsil was “protecting his family” which confirms the ESPN report.
No one likes to see domestic violence, but after the dust has settled, and no loss of life or serious injury has been reported at this time, the next question from Ole Miss fans is how does this affect Tunsil moving forward?
Because Tunsil greatly affects Ole Miss football which many have ranked in the 11-15 range in the summer’s guessing game.
Tunsil broke his leg and fractured his ankle in the Peach Bowl and hasn’t updated his rehab on social media the way Laquon Treadwell – who sustained his injuries about two months earlier – has done.
I haven’t heard much about Tunsil’s comeback since the spring when he told us doctors told him they expected him to be running in June.
It doesn’t sound like his injury kept him from taking a shot at someone he felt was threatening his mother.
The Ole Miss offensive line collectively was pretty average last year. There were injuries along the way that played into that, but it would be hard for this group to be more than that if Tunsil is not around or is at less than full strength.
Nothing that sprang from his recent changed legal status suggests a problem with his playing time.
The charge, a misdemeanor, won’t keep him in jail.
Freeze’s statement says that he’s continuing to gather information and assess facts before making any decisions regarding Tunsil.
Prior to that in a rather lengthy statement he praised Tunsil. “I am proud of him for standing up for his mother and protecting his family,” said Freeze, who also noted he’d like to have seen Tunsil handle things differently.
The tone of the statement doesn’t suggest a lengthy suspension handed down through internal punishment.
If Tunsil was to miss the season opener that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. It would be one more week of conditioning for the leg, and the Rebels could probably handle the University of Tennessee (the Martin campus) without him.
Fresno State follows, and then it’s a road trip to Alabama for the SEC opener in Week 3.
I don’t expect Tunsil to be suspended, but we’ll see.
Sometimes you look at a team and can identify a player that the team can’t afford to lose.
You could make a case for Tunsil as that player for Ole Miss. The reality is this Ole Miss team has a lot of talent and other NFL draft picks at other positions. Take away any one of them, and it alters things for the Rebels.
They need everybody on board to reach the expectations many have placed upon them.