Nate Oats Has Turned Alabama Basketball Success Story Into A Circus With Lack Of Self-Awareness On Brandon Miller: Trey Wallace

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Looking back on the events that transpired at the Nate Oats press conference on Tuesday, the only logical conclusion is that both Alabama and Oats were oblivious to the upcoming consequences revolving around Brandon Miller. The horrible tragedy that resulted in the loss of Jamea Jonas Harris on January 15th should’ve been a wakeup call.

First of all, this was not the first time Nate Oats learned that Brandon Miller was tied to the events that night, his statement proves that. So, the folks acting like he walked out of the practice facility and into a barrage of questions without knowing the answer are delusional. The school and Nate Oats had time to prepare his remarks for the questions about Miller’s involvement.

“We knew about that. Can’t control everything everybody 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. Just in the wrong spot at the wrong time,” Oats said during the presser.

He knew about this, which include the details of Brandon Miller’s ties to the case, dating back to the January 15th murder. So when he stepped to the podium, that was the best answer he could give? While Alabama was preparing for South Carolina on the practice court, the world was finding out about Brandon Miller’s involvement, but this wasn’t a shock to Oats.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 10: Head coach Nate Oats of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Houston Cougars at Fertitta Center on December 10, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Nate Oats Knew About Brandon Miller’s Involvement Before Presser

The fact that he would sit up at that podium and spew the unthoughtful nonsense will now be looked upon as a massive stain to the basketball program. This is all because the school felt as if they did not need to initiate any punishment towards Miller. I wondered what the Student Conduct Board was thinking during this whole process. As I scoured through the Alabama student handbook at 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, I found at least two rules the school could used to handle the situation differently than law enforcement, if it were found to happen on campus.

“Possession or use of a dangerous weapon firearm on University premises in violation University, including, but not limited to, the University’s Dangerous Weapons and Firearms Policy,” the handbook states. Since it is known he was in possession of a firearm, I can only conclude this would violate this rule, but again I’m no lawyer. It should be noted that the just because something happens off-campus, it doesn’t effect whether the student would still be held responsible by the school he/or she attends.

I contacted the student conduct board office to confirm this matter. Meaning, if something were to happen on ‘The Strip’ and that person was a student, he would still fall under the guidelines of the conduct handbook if reported, according to the office.

“Except as otherwise stated in this policy, the University prohibits the possession, transportation, and use of firearms and other dangerous weapons at any time,” According to school policy.

Also, any violation of the published university policy, with includes the Dangerous Weapons and Firearms Policy, would be subject to punishment by the school’s conduct board.

I am certainly not going to sit here and act as if I know the gun laws in my home state of Alabama, I’m just a writer. I am sure there is a reason why no charges were brought against Brandon Miller and it’s not my place to argue for it. But, I will say that the school has done a horrible job at handling this situation from Brandon Miller’s involvement. This is where I find the comments of Nate Oats to be more troubling.

Wrong place at the wrong time is the wrong approach to a murder that happened on your campus, as the 4th highest paid employee of the state. The mere fact that Oats would utter those words is a slap in the face to the victim of this incident. Yes, Nate Oats released a second statement on Tuesday night walking his previous comments back, but he can thank the Alabama communications department for the apology.

The embarrassment from this ordeal will follow Alabama around for the next two months, if they make it that far in the NCAA Tournament. Every press conference from here on out will include a question about Brandon Miller and how the school has handled this incident.

So prepare yourself Alabama fans, because what was once a great story about your basketball team has now turned into a circus revolving around your basketball coach and star player. It’s certainly not the law we’re dealing with anymore, it’s the court of public opinion.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.


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