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2/27/2023 12:08 pm  #1

If You Thought You Disliked Alabama Football....

...then get ready to thoroughly despise Alabama Basketball.

Face may can't stand Nick Saban because all the guy seems to do at Bama is win.  It's also why you may hate the NY Yankees, the Dallas Cowboys, or the LA Lakers though the time in which these franchises resembled dynasties seem decades ago.  In Tuscaloosa, as evidenced by recent developments within their basketball program, their "winning at all costs" mentality has formally gone off the rails.

In case you've somehow missed the story, their star freshman and presumed top 3 NBA draft pick to be Brandon Miller was apparently responsible for furnishing a gun that was subsequent used to kill a young woman.  Miller was not the shooter and quite probably did not witness the murder.  But he's involved, partly because of his stature but to a far greater extent, because he provided a murder weapon.  This was certainly an opportunity for the University of Alabama to help teach a misguided young man a valuable lesson by suspending him for a period of time.  Instead, the Crimson Tide has taken the stance that as long as their star has not been charged with a crime, he is eligible to play.  And since Bama is flirting with a #1 seed in next month's NCAA Tournament, playing basketball is what he will do.

We can debate whether Miller should have been thrown off the team, suspended for a game or more, of if the school's decision to not punish their star at all can at all be validated.  Where there can absolutely be no debate is what took place on Saturday.  As the starting lineups were being announced, Brandon Miller went through  a routine that is no different than what GW does and I am sure dozens of other schools do as well.  As he walked to the floor, he is stopped by a teammate who "pads down" Miller, making sure that Miller (and his fellow starters) are not carrying any guns by pantomining this action.  

This brings me to Nate Oats.  A great story in the sport who got into high school coaching fairly late in life.  While enjoying success in Buffalo, he was one of those names that myself and others would call out as a great choice to take the GW job.  Instead, he took the Alabama job, a historically difficult place to build a highly successful basketball program, and what he has achieved from a won-loss perspective has been wildly impressive.

How he's handled this Miller debacle has been anything but.  How could he allow the Bama "pad down" to continue in light of everything that's going on?  Sure, any one of a number of people could have displayed the slightest bit of intelligence by calling it off.  Nevertheless, the buck has to stop with the head coach.  To indicate that he had no idea it was happening or that he can't concern himself with such matters is beyond ridiculous.  This took place on his watch , plain and simple.  His program, which already had a black eye as  a result of this story, now looks like it can use complete facial reconstructive surgery.

There is a young woman who is dead as a result of a gun that a star player provided to a teammate (who also was not the murderer).  Maybe some things require attention a bit more than scheming how to defeat Arkansas at hoops.


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