Brandon Miller's pregame pat down 'will not happen again,' Alabama HC Nate Oats says
Alabama decided to allow Brandon Miller to continue to play after Tuscaloosa police testified Tuesday that the star freshman delivered a gun used in a shooting that killed Jamea Harris on Jan. 15. With a story that large, it tracks that Miller's every move on and off the court would be under a microscope — but the team doesn't appear to be operating under that assumption.
The No. 2-ranked team hosted Arkansas on Saturday. When Miller was introduced in the starting lineup before the game, he spread his arms as a teammate pretended to pat him down.
Brandon Miller being introduced during the starting lineups pic.twitter.com/Fen0xT8V8L
— Ryan Hennessy (@RyanWVTM13) February 25, 2023
While some initially noted how loud the home crowd was as his name was called, the pregame routine eventually garnered attention.
Local prosecutors have stated that Miller will not be charged with a crime, because Alabama law requires evidence he was aware the gun would be used criminally. Still, many already take issue with the fact that Miller, the Crimson Tide's top scorer, is playing for the team.
The national player of the year candidate led the team to an 86-83 victory, scoring 24 points. Head coach Nate Oats addressed the untimely pregame bit in a news conference after the game.
"Before I get started on the game, it was brought to my attention after the game about our pregame introductions. I think that's something that's been going on all year. I don't really know. I don't watch our introductions, I'm drawing up plays during that time. "Regardless, it's not appropriate, it's been addressed and I can assure you it will not happen again for the remainder of this year."
DeCarla Cotton and her husband Delvin Heard are Harris' parents. Harris had a 5-year-old son. The pair were vocal about their dismay to see Miller on the court, as well as Oats' initial comments about their daughter's murder. Oats has since apologized for seemingly downplaying the situation and saying that Miller was "at the wrong spot at the wrong time.’’
Heard said Oats' retraction "meant nothing" to the mourning couple, and it's not likely his most recent comments will hold any weight with them either. Their focus remains on their 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," Cotton said.