Alabama’s Brandon Miller has armed safety guard attributable to threats

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama star Brandon Miller was accompanied to the NCAA match by an armed safety guard Wednesday due to threats directed at him, Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats stated.

“If you guys saw some of what I’ve seen sent his way, I think you would understand why that’s the case,” Oats stated of the additional safety the varsity has lined up for Miller. “I don’t want to get into all that. The entire situation, as you know, is just a heartbreaking situation on all accounts.”

Miller’s identify surfaced final month in court docket testimony involving the capital homicide case of former Alabama participant Darius Miles and one other man, who’re charged within the deadly taking pictures of 23-year-old Jamea Harris on Jan. 15.

A police officer testified that Miles texted Miller asking him to carry Miles’ gun within the early-morning hours of the taking pictures. Fellow freshman starter Jaden Bradley was additionally on the scene. Neither Miller nor Bradley has been accused of any crime, and the college has described Miller as a cooperating witness, not a suspect.

The Crimson Tide (29-5) have a No. 1 seed within the match for the primary time at school historical past. They’ll play their opening sport within the South Regional on Thursday, dealing with No. 16 seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in Birmingham — lower than an hour’s drive from the Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa.

The guard, who wore a gun, badge and Alabama polo shirt, accompanied Miller to the interview space and later watched him participate in a lightweight observe.

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The freshman, who was the SEC participant and newcomer of the 12 months, declined to enter specifics concerning the additional safety, implying that it was nothing uncommon.

“I always travel with security to all the games,” Miller stated. “That’s all I’m going to say on that.”

But Oats conceded that it was hardly enterprise as regular.

“Some of the messages from people that can sit behind fake email addresses, but who knows whether they’re real or not,” Oats stated. “But if you’d seen what I’ve seen, you would understand what’s going on right now.”

Oats added that he appears in any respect his gamers like his personal youngsters: “I put myself in his parents’ shoes, and our administration has seen the stuff that I’ve seen. It’s appropriate. But it’s nothing a college kid should have to go through.”

After Miller’s identify got here to mild within the case, he obtained a harsh reception throughout a victory at South Carolina, the place the gang chanted “lock him up” and “guilty.”

Miller has repeatedly declined to debate particulars of the case, saying final week solely that he has relied on the camaraderie of his teammates to deal with points off the court docket.

“I just lean on my teammates,” he stated. “They’re like family for me away from home.”