In the age of social media, we see people misbehaving and exhibiting an egregious lack of self-awareness every day. Alabama men’s basketball standout Brandon Miller is the latest athlete to show the world just how tone-deaf one person can be. During Saturday’s pregame introduction against Arkansas, Miller chose to go forward with a “pat-down” entrance as he was announced to the crowd.
For those who aren’t aware, Miller is currently under investigation for his part in the Jan. 15 murder of Jamea Harris on the Crimson Tide campus. Former teammate Darius Miles and friend Michael Davis are facing capital murder charges from the alleged shooting. Miller was found to have provided the gun, which belonged to Miles, and was left in the former’s car after receiving a text message about an incident on campus grounds. Miller and a teammate have been performing this introductory “patdown” all season, but continuing on with the ritual now — as his name is so closely associated with a fatal confrontation — is terrible optics.
So with this information now publicly known, watching Miller’s apparently blatant disrespect for the situation leads one to believe he doesn’t care about the victim or the seriousness of the legal proceedings. The fact that he’s done this intro throughout the season is no excuse for his failure to read the room. Considering all that’s happening around him, the fact that Miller is allowed to play is quite shocking.
You’d think a young man under so much scrutiny along with the University would want to call less attention to himself and his current legal situation. This is one of those times when a young man should just play basketball and leave all those theatrics alone. Of all the introductions available, Miller chose to perform this one while under investigation for supplying a firearm allegedly used to kill a young woman.
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Following Bama’s 86-83 win over Arkansas, head coach Nate Oats claimed ignorance to his knowledge of Miller’s intro but said it won’t continue. This entire case has been mishandled by Alabama and the NCAA from the start. Before NIL, whenever a student-athlete was even speculated to have taken money or goods from anyone, the NCAA was all over it, especially in basketball and football. But they want to wash their hands of a situation when something serious happens.
Players have been punished for accepting a free meal, as Dez Bryant was in 2009 at Oklahoma State after dinner with Deion Sanders. Former Utah Utes men’s basketball coach Rick Majerus was reprimanded for a similar violation because he bought pizza for his players after practices and film sessions and paid for it himself. This is the type of trivial matter the NCAA loves to interject themselves into, yet it sits back as a fatal shooting lurks in the background, one that has already seen a member of the team, Darius Miles, dismissed and indicted on capital murder charges.