Imagine working all your life for a chance to play in the N.F.L.. Imagine minutes before the draft, someone tried to steal your dream. Laremy Tunsil was a sure fire top 5 pick heading into last Thursday's draft before an unflattering video went public. The video appeared to show Tunsil using marijuana. If that wasn't enough, private conversations were released implying that he was receiving money while at Ole Miss. Tunsil watched his top five pick status go literally up in smoke. When the dust settled, Tunsil was drafted by the Dolphins at number 13. It still pays quite a bit more than most folks earn, but It has been estimated the fall cost Tunsil approximately 8 million dollars.
Someone's been trying to sell that Laremy Tunsil gas mask smoking video for weeks: https://t.co/ZNsbBG3Q5K pic.twitter.com/tc7nYOYoeF— Deadspin (@Deadspin) April 29, 2016
All of the leaks came via Tunsil's social media accounts. How someone was able to access these password protected accounts is still being investigated. The person behind the leaks is also being sought. The free lesson here is don't misbehave. If you find that impossible, then DELETE YOUR SECRETS.
The other big social media gaffe this week was by Texas A&M WR coach Aaron Moorehead. Moorehead is a former Virginia Tech assistant, and left to take the same role in College Station. Coach Kevin Sumlin and the rest of the Aggies are under high pressure to have a big season. To be a winner in the SEC, you need big time talent. Moorehead was recruiting 5* QB Tate Martell, who was a verbal commit to the Aggies. After backing out of the commitment, Moorehead took to the twittersphere to air his displeasure. Not only did he make himself look immature at best, it cost Texas A&M some other recruits as well.
‼️‼️ pic.twitter.com/2g0ee2pRkA— Mannie Netherly (@yovng_netherly) May 5, 2016
That tweet was a response from Mannie Netherly, who is 4* wide receiver. The Aggies also lost 5* WR Tyjon Lindsey because of Moorehead's tweets. Think about that. Texas A&M lost a 5* and a 4* simply based on some tweets. The other SEC schools started smelling blood immediately.
Blessed to receive an offer from Ole Miss #GoRebels pic.twitter.com/azKTKS3Bex— Mannie Netherly (@yovng_netherly) May 5, 2016
The lesson here is simple: watch what you say, especially on the internet. The internet is a permanent record for the new millinneum. Even when the tweets and videos are removed, I can bet you at least one person got a screen grab of it, or a download. Justin Fuente and staff handles this situation the right way. When Virginia Tech lost out in the Eric Crosby sweepstakes to Tennessee, you didn't see Zohn Burden posting cryptic shots to the DT. Burden and company are smart enough to know that other players will read how he handles setbacks. To outlaw social media is throwing the baby out with the bath water. Coaches and universities will have to adjust, and manage this new distraction. This is a problem that simply didn't exist 20 years ago. While the platforms may change, social media will be a part of the culture for some time to come.