Alabama men’s basketball coach Nate Oats said Monday the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide is going through “some sort of grieving process” after player Darius Miles and another man were charged with capital murder following a deadly shooting near campus.
At a news conference, Oats said he could not discuss details related to the case. He said he spoke to Miles’ mother several times on Sunday and met with the team that evening.
“I felt it was important that we were all here and nearby to support each other in this situation,” Oats said.
Captain Jack Kennedy of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit said the shooting happened early Sunday morning on the Strip, a student-centric business district near the Tuscaloosa campus. He said Jamea Harris, 23, of the Birmingham area, was shot.
Miles, 21, a Washington, DC junior reserve forward, and Michael Lynn Davis, 20, of Charles County, Maryland, have both been charged with capital murder. The capital murder charge arose because the death involved shooting in a vehicle, Kennedy said.
Oats said the team met again Monday and practiced in Vanderbilt later the day before Tuesday’s game.
“They didn’t have too many questions,” Oats said of the players. “It’s really more of a grieving process. I mean, they understand the seriousness of the situation with Jamea. They also understand the seriousness of the situation with Darius. There’s both sides of dealing with it.
“So yes it’s something you don’t go through a lot as a coach but I think we have the services around the program to help us deal with the situation.”
The university said in a statement Miles has been “removed from campus” and is no longer on the team.
Attorneys William White, Clayton Tartt and Suzanne Norman of the Birmingham-based law firm Boles Holmes White issued a statement on behalf of Miles, saying he and his family were “heartbroken” by Harris’ death.
“Although Darius has been accused of involvement in this tragedy, he maintains his innocence and is looking forward to his day in court,” they said. “Our company’s own investigation is ongoing and no further statement is being made at this time.”
Kennedy said bail would not initially be set in the case. He said defense attorneys could request a probable cause hearing in the Tuscaloosa County District Court and a judge could later consider bail.
Miles had appeared in just six games that year, averaging 1.5 points. The team announced on Saturday that he would be out for the remainder of the season with an ankle injury.
He had also missed time earlier this year on what had been described as a personal matter. Oats said Monday that Miles has returned to Washington to deal with the issue, but that it is “entirely unrelated” to weekend fees.
Associated Press journalist Jeff Amy in Atlanta; and Kim Chandler of Montgomery, Alabama; contributed to this report.
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