Come To Alabama Young Men! NIL Cash, Plus Get Your Free ‘Get Out Of Jail (Or Suspensions)’ Cards: Guilbeau

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The state of Alabama is not the richest in the country.

Therefore, the boosters and powerful influence peddlers may run a little light on Name, Image & Likeness (NIL) money as time goes by quicker than, say, their ilk in Texas or Florida, or even up-and-down, oil-rich Louisiana.

This was what was behind Alabama coach Nick Saban’s brash comments about Texas A&M a year ago after the Aggies pulled in the No. 1 class in history, or so it was said at the time. Many assumed NIL money was flowing through College Station like oil in the classic film “Giant.”

But recruiting can also be all about creativity in addition to the Benjamins ($100 bills). Saban has long been one of the best recruiters anywhere. Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats is also very good. He signed the No. 3 class in 2022 and had top 15 classes in 2020 and ’21. Should the NIL money start to wane for each, though, here’s an idea.

Alabama’s ‘Zero Suspension Policy’

You have heard of the “Zero Tolerance Policy,” right. Well, Alabama already seems to be enacting the “Zero Suspension Policy.”


Last fall, Saban refused to suspend star wide receiver Jermaine Burton, even though video clearly showed him striking a female fan during the field storming by fans after the Tide’s loss at Tennessee. Burton played the next Saturday at Mississippi State and in all five remaining games. At least, Saban did see to it that Burton received some counseling.

Nick Saban Explains Why He Actually Hates Watching Football Games
Alabama coach Nick Saban did not suspend wide receiver Jermaine Burton last season after video showed him striking a female in the head after the Crimson Tide’s loss at Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Nick Saban and Nate Oats Disregarded Discipline Recently

Oats has apparently not even done that with his top player – freshman guard Brandon Miller. A five-star prospect out of high school, Miller leads the team in scoring. He is also considered a top four pick in the first round of the NBA Draft this summer.

Oats knew soon after the murder of Jamea Jonae last Jan. 15 that Miller was heavily involved. He delivered the murder weapon – a handgun – to his Alabama teammate Darius Miles at about 1:45 a.m. central time. Miles then gave it to Michael Lynn Davis. Police investigators say Davis shot and killed Jonae.

Both Miles and Davis have been in jail in Tuscaloosa ever since on capital murder charges. Tuscaloosa District Judge Joanne Jannik denied each bail in a preliminary hearing Tuesday and advanced the case to a Grand Jury for possible indictments (formal murder charges).


Miller was not arrested as apparently sufficient evidence does not exist at this time that he knew that Miles’ gun was going to be used to kill Jonae. Miller could be arrested at a later time if the district attorney’s office prosecuting Miles and Davis finds evidence that Miller should be. Miller shot no one. Of course, neither did Miles, but at the moment the authorities believe that only Miles and Davis knew of all the intent. It does not matter just how hard to believe that sounds.

Alabama Creed Is No Arrest, So No Suspension?

Since Miller was not arrested, Oats did not suspend him and has no plans to do so.

Alabama’s athletic department released a statement Wednesday reiterating its “Zero Suspension Policy” in this case.

“Based on all the information we have received, Brandon Miller is not considered a suspect in this case, only a cooperative witness,” the statement said. “Based on all of the facts we have gathered, Brandon remains an active member of our team.”

All together now, Roll Tide! No. 2 Alabama, which is considered a lock for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament next month, and its best player – Brandon Miller – play at South Carolina Wednesday (9 p.m., ESPN2).

Burton was also not arrested or suspended. Both should have been suspended.

Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats knew from the beginning last month that guard Brandon Miller was involved in the murder of a woman on Jan. 15 near campus, but he has not publicly disciplined Miller. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Coaches all around the nation often discipline players for plenty of reasons other than accessory to murder, striking a woman, or other examples of breaking the law. But not at Alabama lately.

Therein could be Alabama’s new recruiting strategy:

“Come to Alabama, young men from far and wide,” the recruiting form letters could open. “We have lots of NIL cash for you, but get this, we also have free Get Out of Jail (Or Suspensions) cards. Just ask Jermain Burton and Brandon Miller. Come to Alabama, and you will get all the benefits of doubt you could ask for and full cooperation from the authorities, who are mostly Alabama graduates.”

You can put a price tag on NIL. You can’t put a price tag on freedom from discipline. Now, that’s recruiting, Bama style.

Miller and Burton both broke the University of Alabama’s student code of conduct. I wonder if Saban or Oats or athletic director Greg Byrne have ever read that, considering their Zero Suspension Policy regarding Burton and Miller. But it doesn’t seem to matter at Alabama.


No. 15 under the category of “Offenses Disrupting Order or Disregarding Health and Safety” in the student handbook should be read by Saban, Oats and Byrne:

“Being present during any violation of University policy or the Code of Student Conduct in such a way as to condone, support, or encourage that violation. Students who anticipate or observe such a violation are expected, if possible, to report any potential violation before it occurs or report details of the violation after its occurrence.”

Sounds like Miller should have called the police as soon as Miles asked him to bring a gun to the strip of bars near campus at a quarter to 2 a.m. Surely, he anticipated something was about to go down, or something had “potential” to go down.

Tuscaloosa’s district attorney’s office may need to read the student handbook as well. At the moment, those attorneys expect us to believe that Miller had no idea that bringing a gun to a friend at a strip of bars at a quarter to 2 a.m. would not endanger anyone’s lives, including his friend and teammate Darius Miles.

Alabama Murder Investigation Badly Needs Common Sense

“The issue is whether the government (the police and prosecuting attorneys) can prove that he (Brandon Miller) had knowledge and intent that he was giving the gun to another (Darius Miles), who would use it to commit the crime,” criminal defense attorney James Manasseh of Baton Rouge told OutKick on Wednesday.

“There is nothing inherently illegal about the gun. I can give you a gun for completely legitimate and legal reasons, like self-defense,” Manasseh said. “Now, if it can be proved that he (Miller) knew that he (Miles) was going to use the gun in an illegal manner, that’s a different story.”

Do the authorities in Tuscaloosa know about Alabama’s new recruiting strategy? Seems like it.

“Anyone using their common sense would consider that bringing a gun to someone in this situation was not a good idea, and it was probably going to be used for a bad reason,” Manasseh admitted.

That point seems to have been ignored throughout this ordeal.

“But charged or not, one would think a university or an athletic department would at least want to send a message to their other students that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in the future,” Manasseh said.

Makes sense.

But apparently not at Anything Goes Alabama.

Roll Tide through the legal or university process.

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

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