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Arguably, the biggest story of the college basketball season was the shooting death of Jamea Harris in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Michael Davis, friend of former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles, shot and killed Harris. Authorities charged both Davis and Miles with her murder. NBA Draft prospect and former Alabama player Brandon Miller was also at the scene. But another Crimson Tide player, Kai Spears, says he wasn’t there at the time of Harris’ death. But the New York Times reported that he was.
Now, Spears is suing the newspaper. According to the Washington Post, Spears filed the lawsuit on Wednesday.
From the Post story: “Spears said in the complaint and in a subsequent interview that he was back at his dorm with friends on Jan. 15 when 23-year-old Jamea Harris was fatally shot. The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Alabama, includes a sworn affidavit from one of two friends who said he was with Spears that night.”
On March 15, the New York Times ran a story putting Spears at the scene.
The story’s headline: “A Fourth Alabama Player Was at a Deadly Shooting, in a Car Hit by Bullets.”
In the story, reporter Billy Witz wrote, “In another car that was struck were Brandon Miller, a star player for the Crimson Tide, and Kai Spears, a freshman walk-on whose presence at the scene had not been previously reported.”
Following this report, Alabama and athletic director Greg Byrne denied Spears was at the scene. Despite that, the Times released a statement to AL.com saying, “We’re confident in our reporting and stand by it.”
Spears himself also refuted the reporting.
New York Times refuses to change their story about Alabama basketball player, Kai Spears
But the New York Times did not retract the story. The story continues to live on their website, with Spears’ involvement still reported.
So, Spears is moving forward with his lawsuit, which seeks $75,000 in damage, according to the Post. The Post also reports that Spears “intends to use part of any court award to help with future educational costs incurred by Harris’s 5-year-old son.”
OutKick will follow this story and provide updates as the become available.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on X – formerly known as Twitter: @RealDanZak