Alabama men’s basketball head coach 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.

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Oats shoved Missouri player Aidan Shaw during an incident where East was in Alabama's huddle smack-talking Alabama's players.

 

“Nate Oats’ actions were unacceptable and violated the expectations for conduct and sportsmanship as established by the membership of the Southeastern Conference,” said Sankey in a press release. “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. 

According to a pre-season Commissioner’s Memorandum related to sportsmanship, “Coaches and institutional personnel shall provide favorable examples in appearance, conduct, language, and sportsmanship.  Behavior shall reflect the high standards of honor and dignity that characterize participation in a collegiate setting.  Examples of conduct from coaches and institutional personnel that fall short of these expectations include, but are not limited to, directing hostile comments or gestures toward a student-athlete on the opposing team.”  Additionally, the Memorandum advised coaches that, in the event of an altercation during the game, “coaches should make every reasonable effort to engage with the student-athletes from their team (rather than the student-athletes and coaches from the opposing team).” 

In addition, Oats’ actions were in violation of SEC Bylaw 10.5 related to Conduct and Sportsmanship. SEC Bylaw 10.5.1 states “All institutional staff members and student-athletes of a member institution, shall conduct themselves with honesty and good sportsmanship. Their behavior shall at all times reflect the standards of honor and dignity that characterize participation in the collegiate setting. For intercollegiate athletics to promote the character development of participants, to enhance the integrity of higher education and to promote civility in society, coaches, student-athletes and all others associated with these athletics programs and events should adhere to such fundamental values as honor, respect, fairness, civility, honesty and responsibility. These values should be manifest not only in athletics participation but also in the broad spectrum of activities affecting the athletics program.”

Oats apologized for the incident after the game, but it was clear from Missouri's post-game presser that coach Dennis Gates wanted more than that.

And, he got it, but Oats is not suspended for Alabama's game Saturday at Tennessee.

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