One of the biggest stories in college basketball right now surrounds a formerAlabama player and a current Alabama player. Former Crimson Tide forward Darius Miles, along with his friend Michael Davis, were charged in the murder of Jamea Jonae Harris. Police believe that Brandon Miller, who currently is a star player for the University of Alabama, brought the gun to the scene of the crime. However, Miller hasn't been charged with any crime, hasn't been punished by the team and continues to play.
This isn't the first time it has been alleged that a college basketball player was involved in a murder. It's not even the first time this season. In November, New Mexico State University junior forward Mike Peake killed Brandon Travis, a freshman at the University of New Mexico, in what appears to be an act of self-defense, according to police. It is believed that Travis lured Peake to the New Mexico campus to assault him. Peake has not been charged. NMSU would later suspend its basketball program for the rest of the season as a result of an unrelated hazing incident.
Baylor Basketball Player Killed by Teammate
The most notorious incident of a college basketball player being involved in a murder dates back to 2003. Patrick Dennehy, a forward who played at New Mexico State before transferring to Baylor University for the 2002-03 season, was killed by Baylor teammate Carlton Dotson. The news shocked the college basketball community and is brought up whenever an incident involving a college basketball player and a gun occurs.
By all accounts, Dennehy and Dotson were friends. Both were transfers from other schools. During the summer of 2003, the two voiced their concern for their own safety. They claimed they received threatening phone calls by other teammates. In response, they both bought guns -- two pistols and a rifle. They would go to a farm north of Waco, Texas, for target practice. When they didn't attend a party they both said they were going to, people started to get concerned something was wrong. People were even more concerned when it was revealed that Dennehy's family hadn't heard from him. The last time anyone had heard from Dennehy was June 14, and he was reported missing five days later.
On June 25, Dennehy's vehicle, a Chevrolet Tahoe, was found in a shopping mall parking lot in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The license plates had been removed. Five days later, an unsealed affidavit seeking a search warrant for Dennehy's computer revealed that an informant told police that Dotson had said he had shot and killed Dennehy during an argument on the farm north of Waco. On July 21, Dotson was taken into custody after he called police saying he was hearing voices. Dotson then told police where he could find Dennehy's body. On July 25, a very decomposed body was found in a gravel pit near Waco. Medical examiners identified the body as Dennehy's.
Dotson told FBI agents that he killed Dennehy in self-defense, after Dennehy pointed a gun at him and the gun jammed. But the autopsy showed the self-defense claim could not be supported, as Dennehy was shot twice, once toward the back of the head and once above the right ear. Two years later, Dotson pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
The news of Dennehy's murder was just the beginning of a scandalous summer for the Baylor University basketball program. There were allegations that Dennehy didn't have an athletic scholarship with the program and, therefore, shouldn't have been with the team during the 2002-03 season. It was found that Baylor head coach Dave Bliss had paid Dennehy's tuition and another teammate's tuition as well. When questioned, Bliss claimed Dennehy had paid his own tuition by being a drug dealer. It was not the first lie he would tell.
After Dennehy's death was ruled a murder, Bliss told his players to lie to investigators. Assistant coach Abar Rouse secretly taped Bliss instructing his players to fabricate a story about Dennehy being a drug dealer. The tapes also showed that Bliss knew Dennehy had been threatened by two of their teammates but covered it up. Bliss was involved in NCAA rules violations including unreported failed drug tests among the team and making players' tuition payments.
Baylor was left in shambles. Bliss resigned, and the team was placed on a 10-year probation. Dotson is currently being held in the John B. Connally Unit, a maximum-security prison, south of the city of Kenedy, Texas. He is eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence.
MORE: Alabama Hoops Star Brandon Miller Brought Gun Used In Shooting, According to Police
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