University of Alabama freshman cornerback Tony Mitchell has been suspended from «all team activities,» head coach Nick Saban said Monday after he was arrested last Wednesday in Florida.
What he said on the matter, however, seemed like it might have been a subtle jab at another Crimson Tide head coach.
Alabama men’s basketball coach Nate Oats entered the Sweet 16 with his No. 1-seeded squad that boasts standout rookie Brandon Miller as its best player. But there are some who believe Miller shouldn’t be playing after learning of his role in the shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Harris.
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On January 15, Miller transported the gun used in the murder to his former teammate Darius Miles, the legal owner of the firearm, who then turned it over to Michael Davis, the shooter. Both Miles and Davis were charged with capital murder, while police said they couldn’t charge Miller with anything.
Speaking at the Crimson Tide’s first spring football practice Monday, Saban had this to say about Mitchell’s suspension.
«There is cause and effect when you make decisions that put you in bad situations,» Saban said. via AL.com.
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«Everyone has the opportunity to choose and make decisions. There is no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time.»
Those are some very interesting words considering Miller’s situation. Oats’ handling has been ridiculed because, although police cannot charge him with anything, the fact that he brought the firearm to the Tuscaloosa location where the shooting occurred led many to believe that a suspension was on the horizon.
Instead, Oats defended his star player.
«We know about that,» he said in response to Miller’s alleged involvement. «I can’t control everything that everyone does outside of practice. Nobody knew that was going to happen. The college guys are out. Brandon hasn’t been in any kind of trouble and he’s not in any kind of trouble on this one. Wrong place at the wrong time.»
Oats later clarified that initial statement.
«I thought it was important for me to clarify the unfortunate comments I made earlier. All this time I have tried to be considerate in my words in relation to this tragic incident, and my statements were misheard,» his statement read.
«The police informed us that other student-athletes were in the vicinity, and the police have repeatedly told us that no other student-athletes were suspects, they were just witnesses. We understand that they have all been completely truthful and cooperative.»
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He continued: «I in no way intended to minimize the gravity of this situation or the tragedy of that night. My prayers continue with the family of Jamea Harris.»
Miller’s attorney claims his client was unaware the gun was in the backseat of his vehicle and said Miles had put it there without his knowledge. And Miller has been playing for the Crimson Tide since the incident, including his two NCAA Tournament wins over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Maryland.
As for Mitchell, he was arrested in Holmes County, Florida for possession of marijuana with intent to sell and/or deliver. Saban added that his suspension will remain in place until more information is gathered.
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«You have to be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re with and what you do; who you associate with and the situations you put yourself in,» Saban added.
Ryan Morik and Paulina Dedaj of Fox News contributed to this report.