Laremy Tunsil‘s playing career may be over, but the standout offensive lineman’s impact on the football program still lingers outside of the ongoing NCAA issues.
One day before Tunsil is expected to be selected in the Top 10 of the NFL draft — certain that’s merely a coincidence — the Jackson Clarion-Ledger is reporting, Tunsil’s stepfather, Lindsay Miller, has filed a lawsuit against the former Rebel player. The suit “alleges that Tunsil attacked Miller last June and that Tunsil defamed Miller’s character” the Clarion-Ledger wrote, adding these two things were an “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
Tunsil alleged that he was merely defending his mother, Miller’s wife, when he and Miller became engaged in a physical confrontation. Just prior to that, Miller had accused Tunsil of an improper relationship with a sports agent. The 2016 early draft entrant missed the first seven games of the 2015 season as “it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle.”
Both Miller and Tunsil filed domestic violence charges against each other, but those were dropped two months later. At the time of the incident, head coach Hugh Freeze released a statement that said, in part, the incident involved “Laremy defending his mother against his stepfather.”
That statement is part of what’s caught the Rebels coach in the legal crosshairs. From the paper:
Furthermore, Defendant Tunsil knew, or should have known, that Coach Hugh Freeze, in particular, would repeat his remarks to local, state, and/or national media given Defendant Tunsil’s critical role on the Ole Miss football team.
“In fact, Coach Freeze and/or others did just that. As a result, Defendant Tunsil’s malicious statements, as repeated by Coach Freeze and others, caused irreparable damage to Mr. Miller’s reputation, the nature and scope of which will be determined at trial.
The lawsuit requests Freeze’s deposition because it alleges Tunsil discussed the situation with Freeze and then “Coach Freeze and (an) anonymous source effectively announced to millions of people via a national cable network [ESPN] that Mr. Miller had assaulted his wife.
The lawsuit filed by Miller requests Freeze, along with offensive line coach Matt Luke, be deposed as part of proceedings. Miller is seeking “compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees, pre- and post-judgment interest and all costs associated with the suit because of ‘past, present, and future bodily injury, pain & suffering, severe emotional distress, medical costs, damage to reputation, and/or other types of damages that he has incurred (and will likely continue to incur).’”
Again, the lawsuit comes one day before Tunsil is expected to be a Top 10 draft pick and will ultimately sign a contract worth in excess of $12 million over the life of the deal.