Alabama coach Nate Oats took the blame for star freshman Brandon Miller's controversial pregame introduction over the weekend, saying in a press conference Tuesday that the pat-down ritual has been addressed and it won't happen again.
"That situation is on me. We addressed [it] as a team and as soon as I brought it up to them, they immediately understood how it could be interpreted, and we all felt awful about it," Oats said. "They explained to me that it's like when TSA checks you before you get on a plane and now Brandon's cleared for takeoff."
Oats said the introduction was brought to his attention for the first time following the game on Saturday, after which he called it "not appropriate." Miller has had the same pregame pat-down during introductions all season, but after being connected to the Jan. 15 murder of 23-year-old Jamea Harris for allegedly helping deliver former teammate Darius Miles' gun to him the night it was used in her killing, it widely drew criticism for being tone-deaf and insensitive.
"We, as the adults in the room, should have been more sensitive to how it could have been interpreted," added Oats. "I dropped the ball. That's it. I dropped the ball on it. We've addressed it. I can assure you that it won't happen again."
Miles and a friend, Michael Lynn Davis, face capital murder charges in the killing of Harris. Miller has not been charged with a crime and his attorney claims he did not see or touch the gun later used in Harris' killing.
Miles was the only Alabama player implicated in the murder until new revelations from court testimony last week alleged that Miller delivered the murder weapon to Miles, who later gave it to Davis to commit the crime. Both Miller and freshman Jaden Bradley were on the scene at the time of the incident and Miller's car was hit by gunfire.
Neither Miller nor Bradley have faced any known punishment by the Alabama program in the wake of the testimony last week, and both played in the Crimson Tide's two games last week.