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Nick Saban did not throw Nate Oats under the bus in spring practice opening press conference

Alabama head coach Nick Saban walks on the field at Tiger Stadium in pregame before 2022 matchup against LSU
Stephen Lew -- USA TODAY Sports

Tensions have been high surrounding the Alabama athletics department since January 15 of this year. For the first time in its history, a current Crimson Tide athlete was charged with capital murder after basketball player, Darius Miles was booked along with his friend Michael Davis for the murder of Birmingham resident, Jamea Harris.

With no prior precedent in this matter, Alabama Men’s basketball coach, Nate Oats used a poor choice of words multiple times when commenting on this subject.

One phrase, in particular, was when word got out that All-American forward, Brandon Miller was found to have unknowingly transported the murder weapon to Miles.

“Wrong spot. Wrong time.”

Four words. Four words that caused a PR nightmare for the Alabama athletic department and Nate Oats as he was preparing his team for what now looks to be one of the best teams in Alabama basketball history.

Why is any of this relevant to Nick Saban?

Related: Tony Mitchell’s police report reveals alarming details

Just this past weekend, five-star freshman DB, Tony Mitchell was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, along with the intent to sell and/or deliver. His passenger, Christophere Lewis, faces the same charges, along with carrying a concealed firearm without a permit.

During Saban’s spring practice opening press conference, he announced that Mitchell has been suspended from the team.

The contents of his words regarding Mitchell have created a social media firestorm as it tries to pit him against Oats.

When addressing the Mitchell suspension, Saban had this to say, “Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions,” said Saban. “There’s no such thing as the wrong place at the wrong time. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”

Saban’s word choice of, “There’s no such thing as the wrong place at the wrong time,” sent social media ablaze as if this was a direct shot at fellow Alabama coach, Nate Oats.

Now, this sounds great for daytime TV. The rush to judgment over a cliche phrase addressing the poor choice a player on his team made is laughable.

However, the inference that Saban, who chooses his words very carefully, and uses press conferences to make public statements about his team, would go out of his way to throw shade at a fellow coach is asinine.

Saban is calculated and deliberate. He is not sloppy, or messy — messy being akin to a Maury Povich episode.

Nick Saban is trying to avoid a first in his Alabama tenure. Which is not winning a championship within a three-year stretch. That has never happened, and the last thing he wants, or needs, is to have fans and media insinuate he’s starting a beef within his own athletic department.

Does that sound like Nick Saban to you?

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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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