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Nate Oats publicly reprimanded after trying to prevent bench-clearing brawl

But, man, you just cannot go about it that way

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Alabama Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Much to the disappointment of trolls who were expecting a major suspension of Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats, the Tide head man will not be serving any such sentence in Grown-Up Time Out.

To get you caught up to speed, last night the Missouri Tigers obviously came in with a game plan to frustrate the more athletic Crimson Tide with physical play. Almost from the jump, the Tigers made this one chippy and even downright dirty. Alabama gave as good as it got for the most part, holding their ground, jawing in equal measure, post-whistle scrums and the like.

But at one point in the game:

“…Latrell Wrightsell, Jr and a couple of Tiger players got tangled up in front of the Tide bench. The referees did a poor job of maintaining order, and things almost got out of control. Pushing and shoving ensued, and when Missouri player Aidan Shaw stepped toward the ‘Bama bench, coach Nate Oats stepped in and tried to direct Shaw toward the Mizzou bench.”

There was plainly intent here an instigating a fracas that Shaw would not have fared well in. Nate Oates separated the player and pushed him back towards his bench, even as the joke of a crew pretended to try and maintain order. Immediately after the sounding buzzer, Coach Oats explained himself to MU coach Dennis Gates and apologized.

That’s it. That’s the sum of the brouhaha. See for yourself.

From the SEC:

Nate Oats has been issued a public reprimand by the Southeastern Conference for making physical contact with an opposing team’s student-athlete during Alabama’s game against Missouri Tuesday night, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced on Wednesday.

“Nate Oats’ actions were unacceptable and violated the expectations for conduct and sportsmanship as established by the membership of the Southeastern Conference,” said Sankey. “Under no circumstances should a coach make intentional contact with a student-athlete on an opposing team.”

As a result of Oats’ actions, a public reprimand is issued in violation of sportsmanship expectations set forth by the Commissioner and SEC Bylaws established by Conference membership.

Look, we are fully sympathetic here of the aims. There were several moments last night where that game threatened to spill over into a full-on affray. And we understand what Nate Oats was doing: preventing anger and bluster from turning into blows. But you simply cannot put your hands on a player… even for good reasons.

Fortunately, the SEC has decided those reasons were good, and has chosen to merely issue a public reprimand. Sorry to disappoint you, haters.

Frankly, it ought to have never gotten to that point to begin with. This bush-league scheisse was coached, and was obviously part of the game plan to take Alabama’s offense out of its rhythm. And the clown officiating crew did absolutely nothing to disincentivize said behavior or keep that game — or the players — under control. indeed, owing to the very curious whistles, the Tigers were rewarded for instigation.

Let’s move on to the Vols, and now that we know what Dennis Gates is about, keep an eye on that team going forward. Particularly when the Tide travel to CoMo again.

Roll Tide


The next time an opposing player tries to confront the Tide bench, Nate Oats should….

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Once again physically separate him and send him to the bench
    (102 votes)
  • 17%
    Ask the young man if he has considered the consequences of his sportsmanship, and try to talk him onto a corrective path
    (100 votes)
  • 52%
    Let the dipshit FAFO. Obviously the SEC would rather see punches thrown.
    (294 votes)
  • 10%
    (60 votes)
556 votes total Vote Now