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Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats wasted no time in finding an athlete who beat a murder charge for immediate advice on his player’s murder charge.
Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis has advised Oats on handling a capital murder charge against Alabama basketball player Darius Miles, who has been held in a Tuscaloosa jail without bond since Sunday.
In other words, just dial Ray for murder charges.
Miles allegedly furnished the gun that his friend Michael Lynn Davis used to shoot and kill Jamea Jonea Harris early Sunday morning near the Alabama campus on the University Boulevard strip of bars and restaurants. Davis is also in jail on a capital murder charge.
Lewis and friends Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting were indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges in Atlanta in 2000 for their alleged roles in the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollard. Those two were killed in an Atlanta nightclub when a fight broke out during a party following Super Bowl XXXIV on Jan. 31, 2000.
RELATED: RAY LEWIS GOT MURDER CHARGE DROPPED
The murder charge against Lewis was later dropped when he opted to testify against Oakley and Sweeting in exchange for him pleading guilty only to a misdemeanor charge of obstructing justice. Lewis got just one year of probation, and Oakley and Sweeting were later acquitted of their murder charges.
Alabama Coach Nate Lewis Contacted Ray Lewis
“He went through a similar situation in Atlanta,” Oats said of Lewis on the Alabama Crimson Tide Sports Network pregame show Tuesday before the Tide played at Vanderbilt. “He played in the NFL. He told me what he thought guys needed to hear.”
During a postgame interview after Alabama’s 78-66 win at Vanderbilt, Oats said he reached out to Lewis recently.
“I just thought he’s been through, you know, a tragic situation,” Oats said. “He is one of the more mentally tough athletes in my time. His daughter went to Alabama, so I was able to get his number. I talked to him. He didn’t talk to the team or anything. But he kind of talked to me. He’s a man of faith as well. Just kind of told me to share a little word with him, pray with him. That’s what they need right now. His daughter went to school here a year-and-a-half ago, so she’s pretty shook up by the whole situation, too.”
Lewis’ daughter, Diaymon Lewis, is a 2020 graduate from Alabama, according to a google search.
Oats said he has also spoken to Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne and Alabama sports psychologist Bhrett McCabe.
“Just different people have reached out, and I’ve been able to gather different things from different people,” Oats said. “I wouldn’t say there’s one guy, necessarily. This wasn’t covered in the ‘Coaching Basketball’ class back in college. This is one you’ve got to get a really good feel for where your guys are at.”
Nate Oats Hopes His Team Can Learn From Tragedy
Alabama practiced on Monday before leaving for Nashville for the Vanderbilt game Tuesday night.
“Even going into the team meetings, you’ve got to kind of play it a little bit by ear and see where they’re at, where their heads are at, and kind of go from there,” Oats said. “We can learn from this. Let’s learn what we can from this. Hopefully, the rest of the team makes better decisions moving forward, and they can really learn from this.”
Oats made a similar comment moments after the game on the SEC Network.
“Shocking to be honest with you,” he said of Harris’ death. “But I’m a believer, so a lot of prayer. A lot of scripture reading, just to figure out what to tell the team. I shared with them a few passages.”