“If you guys saw some of what I’ve seen sent his way, I think you would understand why that’s the case,” Oats said Wednesday in Birmingham, when asked why Miller was escorted to the press conference by armed security. “And I don’t want to get into all that. The entire situation, as you know, is just a heart-breaking situation on all accounts. But some of the messages from people that can sit behind fake email addresses, but who knows whether they are real or not, that I’ve seen, something that nobody would ever want their son — I treat my players like my own sons — I don’t have a son, I have three daughters.
“But I put myself in his parent’s shoes and our administration has seen the stuff that I’ve seen, and it’s appropriate. It’s nothing that a college kid should have to go through. If you were able to see what I’ve seen then you would understand why that’s going on right now.”
Miller has been the focus of every defense the Crimson Tide played this season. He became the focus of heightened scrutiny and media attention when police revealed details of their murder investigation involving former Alabama player Darius Miles and another man, who are charged in the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Jamea Harris on Jan. 15.
Investigators testified it was Miller who delivered Miles’ gun to him before Harris was murdered with that weapon.
Miller, a freshman expected to enter the 2023 NBA Draft, downplayed the presence of the guard detail.
“I feel like we always travel with security. That’s all I’m going to say on that,” Miller said.
Miller has since won SEC tournament Most Valuable Player, helping the Crimson Tide earn a No. 1 seed. He said he’s focusing on the bond he has with his teammates and blocking out everything else.
“I just lean on my teammates, really. They are here for me like a family away from home,” Miller said.
–Field Level Media