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This picture, allegedly featuring Ole Miss star defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, has been making the rounds on social media since someone sent it out late Sunday night.
It’s pretty cut and dry what’s going on here, but I’m unable to confirm whether it truly is the former number one high school recruit or not. The build of the man in question certainly corroborates the claims being made by several Tennessee Volunteer fans, who seem to have it out for the Hotty Toddy faithful ahead of their SEC matchup on Saturday.
Reportedly, the picture initially surfaced on the Tennessee fan message board Volquest.com, when a thread titled “Pic of Robert Nkemdiche hitting a bong, no idea how to post” was started by a user named CM8888.
From Outkick The Coverage:
Inside the thread — since deleted — the poster said that he’d received the photo from a friend back in August and had been holding it until the Vols played Ole Miss. Other Vol fans on the thread discussed how to distribute the photo and by late Sunday night it was rapidly spreading throughout the Internet. (It’s worth noting that several Vol fans on the thread thought it was unfair to distribute the photo). Tennessee travels to Ole Miss this weekend to take on Nkdemiche, the nation’s former number one football recruit, and the dominant Ole Miss defense.
I’m all for winning at all costs, save the outright breaking of established rules, but this one really straddles the fence. On one hand, I’m sure Vols fans were ecstatic at the prospect of Nkemdiche riding the pine when this thing started taking off, but on the other, my gut tells me that this kind of stuff is just overwhelmingly unsportsmanlike–especially if it’s the only way you feel like you can win the game.
It’s not like the picture was taken recently. Instead, a sorry fan held onto it knowing that it would be used for blackmail at the exact opportune time in his mind, and that just really bothers me. After all, isn’t it more satisfying to see your team win it on the field rather than off?
As of now, the Rebels program has appeared publicly unfazed about the alleged incident. Yesterday, Hugh Freeze addressed the matter during a routine press conference and reaffirmed his confidence in the program’s drug testing policies.
From The Clarion Ledger:
”I’m very aware of the picture and also when it was taken and where it was taken,” coach Hugh Freeze said. “We test our entire team on our drug-testing policy at the beginning of the season and then we have our follow-up tests throughout the course of the year. I’m super confident we handled each one the same and we enforce our policy very consistently.
“There’s not a single thing that goes on that I don’t always bring to our athletic director (Ross Bjork) to talk about and make sure we’re being very consistent with that.”
To further the cause that Nkemdiche will likely be on the field to harass the Volunteers’ offense all day long on Saturday, Ole Miss doesn’t even require a suspension for first-time failed drug tests.
Nice try, Tennessee. With the spread at 16.5, it seems like you’re in for an ass whoopin’ no matter how this shapes up come game day..