Should Brandon Miller be playing basketball after connection to murder became public? | College Basketball Enquirer
Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss the news that Alabama star Brandon Miller brought the gun to the scene of the January murder that cost Jamea Harris her life, and debate how poorly Alabama has handled the very serious situation.
ROSS DELLENGER: The lack of judgment in bringing a weapon that was, very shortly after that, used to kill a woman is probably something that warrants some kind of disciplinary action.
DAN WETZEL: We have the Alabama basketball story. It's one way to get people to start talking about college basketball is to have the National Player of the Year potentially have his name come up in a preliminary hearing on a murder from back in January that one of his teammates, now former teammate, is facing capital felony for.
And it is quite a story and quite an uproar that has come out about it. Brandon Miller is the star player. He's absolutely phenomenal, potential number three pick in the NBA draft, possibly ahead of Scoot Henderson at two, who knows?
He's 6 foot 9. He scored 41 points last night, or Wednesday night, if you will-- this is Thursday morning-- against South Carolina, although if you want to know exactly how this whole story is going down, it was pointed out-- Ross and I just looked through it-- the Alabama men's basketball Twitter feed makes no mention of Brandon Miller from last night's 78-76 victory in overtime against South Carolina-- no pictures, no highlights, no words about him.
He scored 41 of the 78 points, and he's not even--
PAT FORDE: He scored 41. He scored the tying basket at the end of regulation and the winning basket at the end of overtime.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, not mentioned-- didn't get any hype on the Alabama men's basketball Twitter page. This is just a weird, weird story.
PAT FORDE: I mean, it was a real bombshell that came out, I guess it was Tuesday, you know, that all of a sudden, a police officer or law enforcement officer in a hearing said Brandon Miller brought the gun to the scene. And everything that unfolded from there-- there had been a little bit of rumor that, like, Miller either was around or his car had gotten shot up, and that actually turned out to be true.
But there had been no confirmation of that. He wasn't mentioned in the early reports or anything. And then, all of a sudden, you get to this preliminary hearing. It's like, wait a minute, what? What happened?
And so the reaction to that was swift and strong. And then, yeah, I thought Nate Oats was embarrassing to himself and to his university with his handling of it and his words, at least, in reaction to it. And, yeah, you can apologize if you want. But why are you sitting there saying-- why would it ever cross your mind to say, uh, wrong spot, wrong time, unless you don't really seem to care very much about what happened?
And then, yeah, them going ahead and playing him-- look, I think that at some point in time, A, Alabama could have been much more forthcoming and that Brandon Miller and Jaden Bradley probably should have sat some games.
And if you get in front of this as Alabama instead of basically trying to hope it's all gonna go away, which was not a very good strategy if you think this wasn't gonna come out, that if they say, you know what? We had a couple other players that were there. We think they exercised very poor judgment in being there. Brandon Miller ain't gonna play for four games or whatever, five games, and same with Jaden Bradley.
And we're just gonna go through that, and it's January, and it really wouldn't have mattered. Then you don't have this now at the crunch time of the season. But anyway, that's the way they've chosen to handle it. And Brandon Miller's playing, and Alabama really doesn't seem to care what anybody else thinks.
ROSS DELLENGER: It's an awful situation. And I was, like, falling asleep last night thinking about-- you know, because I always think-- try to think of both sides here. And, like, if I'm Brandon Miller, and I have a friend or something who calls me and tells me to bring his gun to him, I was thinking, like, when I was in college, and I would have a friend and, you know, I lived with three other guys in college in a house, and they had hunting rifles.
And I'm just, like, thinking, if my friend is-- one of my friends is-- my roommates is downtown Starkville, and I'm at the house, and they call me, and they say, hey, bring one of my hunting rifles to me, I'm probably not bringing the rifle to my friend. Or I'm asking, why? Why am I bringing this gun to you when you're downtown in a busy street?
And so there's really-- and I understand that Brandon Miller is, what, 19 or something? 20? Whatever.
You know, still, at that age, right, it would be wise to ask questions or not do that. So there's somewhat of a lack of judgment there. And even though he hasn't been charged, and I know Dan is gonna get, probably, into that later about the intent and all that. AL.com had a story about intent and why he's not charged.
The lack of judgment in bringing a weapon that was, very shortly after that, used to kill a woman is probably something that warrants some kind of disciplinary action, I would think.
DAN WETZEL: Right. You know, and, look, whether Miller sits two games or five games or doesn't play doesn't bring back, you know--
PAT FORDE: No.
DAN WETZEL: It doesn't bring back Jamea Harris or anything like that.