NY Post Sees Key Differences in Brandon Miller and Tony Mitchell Scenarios

The highly-publicized situations of Alabama basketball star Brandon Miller and Class of 2023 Alabama football recruit Tony Mitchell — which only resulted in discipline for the latter — have “staggering differences” according to the New York Post’s Jeremy Layton.

Miller present was at the scene of a crime (but was not charged criminally for anything) of the death of a 23-year-old Birmingham woman. Mitchell was suspended by Nick Saban after the 4-star recruit was hit with drug charges in his home state of Florida.

Layton acknowledged the narrative differences between the two scenarios.

“There is, of course, a staggering difference between the timing and circumstances in the two cases,” he wrote. “Mitchell is a freshman defensive back who has yet to be on the field for the Crimson Tide, while Miller is arguably the best basketball player in the country. Mitchell’s arrest happened during the offseason, while Miller was not arrested and his team was in the middle of the season and is still in the midsts of a possible championship run.”

The NY Post writer also injected some cynicism. “It’s fair to wonder if Saban would have taken such a hard line if it was his star quarterback that got arrested on a game week, but one will never know,” Layton wrote.

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Saban was unforgiving of Mitchell’s mistakes, claiming that there was no such thing as the wrong place at the time for anyone during a March 20 press conference in the midst of Alabama’s spring practice.

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“Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions,” Saban said. “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You have to be responsible about who you’re with, who you’re around, what you do and who you associate yourself with, along with the situations you put yourself in.”

That was similar to Oats’ response to questioning about what happened involving Miller on January 15.

“We knew about [Miller’s involvement],” Oats said during a February 21 press conference. “Can’t control everything anybody does outside of practice. Nobody knew that was going to happen. College kids are out, Brandon hasn’t been in any type of trouble nor is he in any type of trouble in this case. Wrong spot at the wrong time.”

This had outlets like FOX News claiming Saban threw shade at Oats. Heavy merely noted Saban’s interesting phrasing.

Analyst: ‘It Was Pretty Apparent it Was a Coincidence’

On3 Sports’ Clint Lamb, who is much closer to Saban and the Alabama football program than anyone at the New York Post, believes Saban’s comments weren’t intentional.

“It looked bad on the surface,” Lamb said.

He doesn’t blame those for noting the similarities between Saban’s Mitchell comments and Oats’ comments about Miller, but Lamb feels critical thinking shuts down the idea there was malicious intent from the Crimson Tide football coach.

“I can’t blame anyone for initially being like ‘whoa,’” Lamb said. “But if you analyze it for all of about 10 seconds, it’s pretty apparent it was a coincidence.”

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