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Why does Laremy Tunsil seem riskier than Noah Spence?

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Ecstasy is worse than pot, right?

We all agree with that. There aren’t states legalizing ecstasy. It isn’t a misdemeanor anywhere?

Why, then, is Tampa Bay’s Noah Spence getting more forgiveness for his errors than Miami’s Laremy Tunsil is for his?

Well, the timing, for one. The imagery. The surrounding controversy. All of it is working against Tunsil, at one time ranked as the top player in the NFL draft.

Spence’s addiction is old news. He’s discussed it openly, repeatedly and, yes, convincingly. He has sent his last 20 drug tests – all clean – to NFL teams. He didn’t complain when he went in the second round to the Bucs, although everyone agrees he had first round talent.

The shocking images of Tunsil, however, were sprung late on the NFL. There he was in that gas mask that served as a bong, and there he plummeted. He didn’t go until 13th, a fall that cost have cost him as much as $7 million.

Then there is this: Tunsil skipped his press conference, supposedly because of “allergies.” He has suggested he was paid at Ole Miss. His step-father and he have an open feud.

And so on. All of the allegations are fresh, which means the questions have only started.

Eventually, both players will have to prove that becoming rich won’t affect them. They’ll have to use their falls as motivation for the future. Other players have done it. Now, it’s their turn.

Who knows? Both situations may pay off for their Florida teams.

But when they eventually play each other, which player are you betting on?

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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