Alabama’s Nate Oats Needs A Better Response To The Tragic Murder In Tuscaloosa

Police testified on Tuesday that University of Alabama basketball superstar Brandon Miller allegedly brought the gun used in the Tuscaloosa killing of a woman that led to capital murder charges for his now former teammate Darius Miles and 20-year-old Michael “Buzz” Davis.

A report from lays out how Miller allegedly brought the gun in his car to the location where the shooting happened after Miles allegedly texted Miller to bring it. The same article then goes on to say, according to police, that Miller’s car was one of two cars blocking the Jeep of the victim before the shooting.

The Tuscaloosa chief deputy district attorney, who graduated from Alabama’s Law School, said there is nothing to charge him with. Now I’m not a lawyer, and I am not going to pretend to be one, but if that isn’t a crime, how does it not at least warrant a suspension from coach Nate Oats and Alabama basketball?

Coach Oats is well-known for talking about the ‘hard-hat mentality,’ and how a great culture works, and what holding people accountable means — well it seems his words were just words. Even with all the information that’s been revealed about this case, Nate Oats is still choosing to play his best player regardless of his ‘accountability’ mantra.

We hear coaches talk all the time about doing the ‘right things’ and how their program builds young men up, but it seems that Nate Oats only cares about one thing — winning. 

Now I know people will say, ‘well it isn’t against the law, so why should he sit?’ Well I have news for you: Most player suspensions aren’t because they broke a law. Being late for practice isn’t against the law; missing class isn’t against the law; hell, making bad grades isn’t against the law — and those infractions pale in comparison to being associated with murder.

There is also no way you can convince me that someone bringing a gun to a place where they know there is conflict is totally oblivious to what may happen with said gun. What if this were someone who wasn’t a superstar and a future lottery pick? How would they be faring right now under the same circumstances?

Nate Oats’ comment, “You can’t control what kids do outside of practice” isn’t wrong. But guess what you can do Nate? You can suspend them, you can do the right thing. 

I would say the same thing about Bruce Pearl if it were Auburn or John Calipari if it were Kentucky in the same situation.

Again, I am not a lawyer, but I do know that this should have warranted definitive action by the team, not just sweeping it under the rug. Some things are bigger than basketball, bigger than rivalries, bigger than sports — and this is definitely one of them.

We’re already losing college sports with all of the recent changes — like telling players it’s okay to quit and hit the transfer portal the minute they face adversity.

If we lose the role morality plays in college sports, then we will have truly lost it forever.

Jake Crain is co-host of “Crain & Company.” the Daily Wire’s sports show hosted by former athletes and coaches Jake Crain, Blain Crain, and David Cone. Follow him on Twitter @JakeCrain_

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire. 

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