Alabama’s Nate Oats defends playing Brandon Miller amid link to deadly shooting: ‘We’ve done the right thing’
Brandon Miller continues to play for the University of Alabama basketball team despite the latest revelation in the shooting death of a woman last month.
Reports now say Miller drove a vehicle that had the alleged murder weapon inside and that he delivered the gun, which allegedly belonged to ex-teammate Darius Miles, to Miles. Miles then allegedly turned it over to Michael Davis.
Miles and Davis are both charged with capital murder in the shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Harris, and police have said they are not charging Miller. Because Miller is not in legal trouble, university officials maintain they have done no wrong in allowing the freshman phenom to play.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
“We’ve been taking it very seriously from day one. The first minute that I got the information, I called [athletic director] Greg [Byrne]and we talked about it and the severity of it,” head coach Nate Oats said at a news conference. “Greg, I thought, did a great job addressing those comments on Wednesday, and I really don’t have much to add to it.
“We feel like we’ve done the right thing in this case. So I’m going to leave it at that with Greg’s comments.”
The decision to allow Miller to play has been met with backlash from the media and Harris’ parents.
“It’s just unimaginable, and it’s like his life is just going on,” her mother, DeCarla Cotton told USA Today Sports Thursday. “He took a brief pause, and it didn’t stop. It’s like, ‘OK, slap on the wrist and go play ball.’ They’re worried about his career, but what about [my five-year-old grandson, Kaine], He’s the true victim in all this. He won’t have a mother anymore to influence his growing up and who he’s going to be.”
Miles allegedly admitted to giving the gun to Davis, and Miles told authorities Davis fired the weapon.
In his first game since the news of his involvement, Miller heard chants of “lock him up” by South Carolina fans, and he responded by scoring 41 points in a road 78-76 overtime victory, including the game-winning shot.
Miller’s attorney, Jim Standridge, said Miller never saw the gun because it was covered in the car, nor did he give it to Davis.
NATE OATS’ HANDLING OF ALABAMA BASKETBALL’S BRANDON MILLER SHOWS CRIMSON TIDE’S LACK OF DISCIPLINE
“On January 14th, Brandon played in a basketball game in the afternoon and was later asked by Darius Miles for a ride to the Strip area to go to a nightclub,” the statement saidvia the Tuscaloosa Patch.
“Mr. Miles brought his legal handgun and left it in the backseat of Brandon’s vehicle. Brandon never saw the handgun nor handled it. Further, it is our understanding that the weapon was concealed under some clothing in the back seat of his car.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The statement also said Miller never interacted with Harris or Davis.