Alabama men’s basketball coach Nate Oats said Tuesday he talked to Pro Football Hall of Famer Ray Lewis about the situation involving former player Darius Miles.
Miles and another man were arrested on capital murder charges Sunday. Investigators wrote in a court document that Miles admitted to providing the handgun immediately before the shooting. Another man is accused of firing the gun and killing a 23-year-old woman near the University of Alabama’s campus.
Oats talked about the ordeal before the Crimson Tide’s 78-66 victory over Vanderbilt.
“His daughter went to Alabama a year-and-a-half ago,” he told the Crimson Tide Sports Network. “He went through a similar situation in Atlanta. He played in the NFL. He told me what he thought guys needed to hear.”
He elaborated on it after the game.
“I just thought he’s been through, you know, a tragic situation,” Oats said, via AL.com. “One of the more mentally tough athletes in my time. His daughter went to Alabama, so I was able to get his number. 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. His daughter went to school here a year-and-a-half ago, so she’s pretty shook up by the whole situation, too.”
Lewis and two others were indicted on murder charges following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta on Jan. 31, 2000. One of the men alleged Lewis had blood stains on his white suit but the outfit was never found. The former Baltimore Ravens superstar would negotiate a plea agreement in which the murder charges against him were dropped in exchange for testimony against the two other men charged.
Lewis received a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 12 months probation.
Lewis’ son also had a sexual assault charge dropped in 2016.
Miles was dismissed from the team after the murder charge came down. Michael Davis was also charged in the fatal shooting.
Oats said he’s talked with the team about the situation and hoped the players would be able to re-focus after a tumultuous few days.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.