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Alabama's Nick Saban appears to take subtle swipe at basketball coach after suspending player

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban explained the suspension of his player, and in doing so, seemed to take a subtle shot at fellow Crimson Tide head coach Nate Oats

University of Alabama freshman cornerback Tony Mitchell was suspended from "all team activities" head coach Nick Saban said on Monday after being arrested last Wednesday in Florida. 

What he said on the matter, though, seemed like it could’ve been a subtle jab at a fellow Crimson Tide head coach. 

Alabama men’s basketball coach Nate Oats made it to the Sweet 16 with his No. 1 seeded squad that features freshman standout Brandon Miller as their best player. But there are some who believe Miller shouldn’t be playing at all after learning his role in the shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Harris. 


On Jan. 15, Miller transported the weapon used in the killing to former teammate Darius Miles, the legal owner of the firearm, who then gave it to Michael Davis, the shooter. Both Miles and Davis were charged with capital murder, while cops said they were unable to charge Miller with anything. 

When talking at the Crimson Tide’s first football practice of the spring on Monday, Saban had this to say about Mitchell’s suspension. 

"There is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations," Saban said, via


"Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions. There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Those are some very interesting words considering the Miller situation. Oats’ handling of it has been ridiculed because, while police can’t charge him with anything, the fact he brought the firearm to the Tuscaloosa location where the shooting occurred led many thinking 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. "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. Wrong spot at the wrong time."

Oats later clarified that initial statement. 

"I thought it was important for me to clarify the unfortunate remarks I made earlier. This entire time I’ve tried to be thoughtful in my words relative to this tragic incident, and my statements came across poorly," his statement read. 

"We were informed by law enforcement of other student-athletes being in the vicinity, and law enforcement has repeatedly told us that no other student-athletes were suspects—they were witnesses only. Our understanding is that they have all been fully truthful and cooperative."


He continued, "In no way did I intend to downplay the seriousness of this situation or the tragedy of that night. My prayers continue to go out to Jamea Harris’s family."

Miller’s lawyer claims that his client was unaware the gun was in the backseat of his vehicle, saying Miles had put it there unbeknownst to him. And Miller has been playing for the Crimson Tide since the incident, including their two wins in the NCAA Tournament 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 be upheld until more information is gathered. 

"You’ve got to be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do; who you associate yourself and the situations that you put yourself in," Saban added.

Fox News’ Ryan Morik and Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

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