BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Ole Miss Rebels have been missing the blocking and leadership of junior offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. Ole Miss will have to wait only one more week before the All-SEC lineman returns after sitting out due to a suspension.
The NCAA notified Ole Miss officials that Tunsil will have to sit out a total of seven games and will be eligible to return October 24 when the Rebels entertain Texas A&M in a crucial SEC game set for Oxford.
Both the NCAA and Ole miss investigated seven alleged improper benefits.
The NCAA investigation revealed 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 the purchase of a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day used of a rental vehicle.
Was Tunsil forthcoming to NCAA investigators?
According to the NCAA investigation, Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when the NCAA began its investigation centering on the loaner vehicles.
Tunsil had to meet reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed seven-game suspension, Tunsil must pay to charity the value of the extra benefits, perform community service, and will make the vehicle down payment.
Tunsil released a statement. He said, "I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I'm looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together."
"We have been supportive of Laremy throughout this process, and we are thankful he can return to competition starting with the Texas A&M game. More important than his football ability is his character, and I am confident that Laremy will grow from this experience and continue to be a positive member of the University and our football team."
Ole Miss (5-1) travels to Memphis (5-0) Saturday morning at 11:00 facing the unbeaten Tigers in the Liberty Bowl.
Coach Freeze said,"They game plan very well. They have a good quarterback that allows them to do a lot of things and their scheme is very sound. It's a lot of moving parts to it.
I mean, good coaches, good players and good schemes and confidence that they have. There's no question they're one of the better offenses in the country for sure."
Ole Miss is an 8 point favorite over the Tigers.