Alabama basketball head coach Nate Oats is under fire for recent comments he made and his handling of his players' alleged involvement in a shooting that left one person dead.
Ex-Alabama basketball player Darius Miles and a friend were arrested in January over the shooting, and on Tuesday, it was reported that Miles' now-former teammates Brandon Miller and Jayden Bradley were involved. Miller has not been charged with a crime, but police believe Miles texted Miller and told him to bring Miles' gun to where he was in downtown Tuscaloosa.
Oats said of the situation, "We knew about that. Can't control everything anybody does outside of practice. Nobody knew that was going to happen. College kids are out. Brandon hasn't been in any type of trouble, nor is he in any type of trouble in this case. Wrong spot at the wrong time."
The Alabama coach quickly caught flak for his remark and later on Tuesday clarified his initial statement.
"I thought it was important for me to clarify the unfortunate remarks I made earlier. This entire time I've tried to be thoughtful in my words relative to this tragic incident, and my statements came across poorly," Oats stated.
He continued, "We were informed by law enforcement of other student-athletes being in the vicinity, and law enforcement has repeatedly told us that no other student-athletes were suspects — they were witnesses only. Our understanding is that they have all been fully truthful and cooperative. In no way did I intend to downplay the seriousness of this situation or the tragedy of that night. My prayers continue to go out to Jamea Harris's family."
Many in sports media said Oats should be terminated or at least suspended for his initial remarks and failing to punish his team's star player over his alleged involvement.
Brandon Miller should never play another minute for Alabama basketball. And Nate Oats’s job should be in jeopardy for this cover up. Bama’s star player aided and abetted a mom’s murder. This is insane: pic.twitter.com/YRVPIU6fBU— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) February 21, 2023
I don’t know the Tuscaloosa DA. But in most jurisdictions in America if you bring a loaded gun to someone in the middle of the night and then that gun is used to commit a murder, the person who brought the gun to the crime scene would get charged with a crime. It’s reasonable to… https://t.co/c8mnSedg7p— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) February 21, 2023
Are there any sane Bama fans? His teammate asked him to bring a loaded gun to the street corner off campus! In the middle of the night! And then a mom got murdered with that loaded gun! And he’s still on scholarship and playing for Bama?! Indefensible. https://t.co/F1A6RHZetV— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) February 21, 2023
COLUMN: The only person in the wrong place at the wrong time is Nate Oats, a coach who proved himself unfit Tuesday to handle a real-life tragedy that has now redefined Alabama’s season with the involvement of its best player now revealed https://t.co/NT2msOPviE via @USATODAY— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) February 21, 2023
What a bombshell. A likely first team All-American on the No. 2 team in the country provided his teammate a gun that became a murder weapon.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) February 21, 2023
And then his coach Nate Oats had the gall to call it "wrong place, wrong time!" https://t.co/NSQXnmFtKw
I won’t say “I have no idea how Alabama can avoid firing Nate Oats for this” because I have a very specific idea of how they might avoid doing that and how college sports work. But come on now https://t.co/SmcFHbwXIw— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) February 21, 2023
Nate Oats shouldnt be allowed to coach Bama rest of season and Brandon Miller shouldn’t be allowed to play the rest of the season and it’s not that hard of a decision. When you bring a gun to your buddy that ends in murder that is not wrong time wrong place. https://t.co/VRiF2v0OIF— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) February 21, 2023
Column: Turns out, star Alabama player Brandon Miller was involved in escalating a verbal confrontation into a murder. That's not "wrong spot at the wrong time," as coach Nate Oats put it in a dishonest and dismissive comment. https://t.co/mWrOnWOh7h— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) February 22, 2023
Alabama starters Brandon Miller and Jaden Bradley are expected to play tonight against South Carolina. They shouldn't be on the team. https://t.co/vvuLzec9JY— Joseph Goodman, Sports Enthusiast 🎟🍺 (@JoeGoodmanJr) February 22, 2023
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