An Alabama basketball player was arrested for murder over the weekend, leaving head coach Nate Oats to deal with a difficult situation. He has since sought advice from a surprising source.
Oats said this week that he reached out to Ray Lewis after now-former Alabama player Darius Miles was charged with capital murder for his alleged role in a fatal shooting. Lewis has a connection to Alabama after his daughter, Diaymon Lewis, graduated from the school in 2020.
“His daughter went to Alabama a year-and-a-half ago,” Oats told Crimson Tide Sports Network before Tuesday night’s game at Vanderbilt, via Mike Rodak of AL.com. “He went through a similar situation in Atlanta. He played in the NFL. He told me what he thought guys needed to hear.”
Oats, of course, was referring to the murder case involving Lewis after the Super Bowl in 2000. Lewis and two other men, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were charged with murder stemming from a fight that broke out near a nightclub in Atlanta. Two men were stabbed and killed during the incident.
Lewis reached a plea agreement in which the murder charges against him were reduced to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice in exchange for his testimony against Oakley and Sweeting. Lewis was the only one convicted, as Oakley and Sweeting were later acquitted of murder charges.
“I just thought he’s been through, you know, a tragic situation,” Oats said. “One of the more mentally tough athletes in my time. … I talked to him. He didn’t talk to the team or anything. But he kind of talked to me. He’s a man of faith as well. Just kind of told me to share a little word with him, pray with him. That’s what they need right now.”
Miles is accused of providing the handgun that was used to shoot and kill a 23-year-old woman near the University of Alabama campus over the weekend. Police released some new details from the case on Tuesday.
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