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"No Such Thing": Nick Saban Seemingly Takes Dig at Nate Oats' Controversial Comments

There seems to be a disagreement about a specific idiom within the Alabama Crimson Tide group of coaches. The idiom in question here is "wrong place at the wrong time."

Alabama football coach Nick Saban recently used this phrase in the context of five-star prospect Tony Mitchell, who was suspended following an arrest in which police said he had 8 ounces of marijuana and was initially traveling at 78 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone, before accelerating to 141 miles per hour.

Saban, who's been the head football coach of the team since 2007, was quoted saying, "There's no such thing as the wrong place at the wrong time," according to a video tweet by Michael Bratton, host of "That SEC Podcast."

Typically, we'd talk about this in a vacuum, commending Saban's comments for holding a top recruit accountable and moving on.


Yes, there's a but.

There's another coach at Alabama, Nate Oats — the head coach of the basketball team currently in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament — who had a different view of things when originally talking about star player Brandon Miller.

What Nate Oats Said

Head coach Nate Oats gives second period coaching advice to Brandon Miller #24 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during a time out against the LSU Tigers at Coleman Coliseum

Photo by Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images

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As Alabama continues to advance in the NCAA Tournament, there's something that looms over the team and Brandon Miller.

In January, Miller was involved in a situation in which 23-year-old Jamea Harris was shot and killed. The two men arrested in connection with the crime were Darius Miles, an Alabama basketball player who's since been removed from the program, and Michael Davis, a friend of Miles.

Miles texted Miller, who brought the gun to Miles on Jan. 15, according to police investigators.

Well, after this situation emerged, Oats was quoted saying, "We've known the situation. We've been fully cooperating with law enforcement the entire time. The whole situation is sad. ... Brandon hasn't been in any type of trouble, nor is he in any type of trouble on this case. Wrong spot at the wrong time."

In addition to Miller, Jaden Bradley was also at the scene of the shooting, police said. Neither has been charged.

Saban's Words: Coincidence or Dig at Oats?

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is interviewed by ESPN sideline reporter Laura Rutledge following the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers

Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Of course, Saban's comments are viewed as a dig toward Oats, and rightfully so. While we usually don't want to compare and contrast the severity of crimes, it goes without saying that generally a murder is worse than driving 141 miles per hour and possessing marijuana. A police investigator wouldn't testify to Miller's involvement without being sure, so it's fair for fans and pundits to point to how important Miller is to the success of the team and the level of punishment he received, which was nothing.

Miller should've been held accountable to some extent back then, and Saban's comments about Mitchell reiterate that, especially as the successful coach uses Oats' words against him. Was Saban taking a dig at Oats? That would seem odd considering they both are successful coaches at Alabama, but Saban choosing those exact words doesn't exactly seem like a coincidence. Nick Saban is the only one who can speak to that.

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