June 29, 2016
Lindsey Miller, the estranged stepfather of Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, spoke with Sports Illustrated‘s Pete Thamel about alleged recruiting violations the Ole Miss Rebels committed during Tunsil’s time with the school.
“It’s like that movie Blue Chips with Nick Nolte, with Shaquille O’Neal in it,” Miller said. “It really is.”
Thamel outlined some of the allegations Miller has made to the NCAA regarding Ole Miss:
During a recent meeting with SI, Miller detailed the extent of the extra benefits that he claims Tunsil and his family received. Miller, a first-hand witness and aggrieved party, says he laid everything out for the NCAA during more than 100 hours of interviews. Among the things Miller says he told the NCAA: Ole Miss had an intricate system in which the school arranged for Tunsil and his family through boosters to get loans, money and free lodging at hotels and residences around Oxford, Miss. He claims he told the NCAA of benefits that spanned nearly three years.
Included among them: Miller says he told the NCAA that he and Desiree Polingo—Tunsil’s mother and Miller’s now-estranged wife—moved from Lake City, Fla., to the Oxford area in 2014 along with Miller’s two sons from a prior relationship thanks in part to financial assistance from Ole Miss coaches and boosters.
Tunsil’s mother, Desiree Polingo, provided a statement to Thamel through her lawyer: “[Miller] continued receiving his pension, child support and military benefits. Why he keeps telling people that Ole Miss promised us something or did something wrong is beyond me, and frankly makes me very angry.”
Last October, the NCAA suspended Tunsil for seven games after finding he accepted impermissible benefits. On the night of the 2016 NFL draft, the details of Tunsil’s college life in Oxford, Mississippi, were again thrust into the national spotlight.
Somebody hacked into Tunsil’s Instagram account and posted a text correspondence that appeared to be between he and John Miller, Ole Miss’ assistant athletic director for football operations. Busted Coverage posted screenshots of the Instagram posts (Warning: screenshots contain NSFW language) :
After initially denying he had ever accepted money from an Ole Miss coach, Tunsil reversed course and said, “I’d have to say yeah,” per Hugh Kellenberger of the Clarion-Ledger.
Lindsey Miller is currently in the process of suing Tunsil, alleging defamation of character, assault and battery and emotional distress stemming from an incident in June 2015.
Oxford authorities arrested Tunsil on charges of domestic violence. A source told ESPN’s Brett McMurphy that Tunsil punched Miller after Miller shoved Polingo. Tunsil and Miller agreed to drop the charges last August.
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