Nate Miles sings a sad song not worth listening to

via rushthecourt.files.wordpress.com

So much has been said since Yahoo! Sports' 2009 report opened up the infractions floodgates on the UConn men's basketball program, with most of the chatter merely the casting blame unto one party or another.

Yet, the player at the center of all the fuss, all the allegations, all the tension, is the one of of the few gone unheard.

But In a recent inverview with Slam Online, Nate Miles finally speaks up for himself.

Unfortunately, little of what he has to say is worth hearing.

In a story heavily skewed toward Miles' point of view, the (sort of) former UConn forward claims he was "used" and "railroaded," just another player chewed up and spit out in the NCAA's money-making machine.

And the story does little to disagree with him, claiming in the bold subhead that Miles is a "causality in everyone else's war," and pointing out a "gaping double standard" between the restraining orders issued to both Miles and former walk-on Ben Spencer, who was later allowed to re-join the team.

(But objectivity is so pre-Internet anyway, right?)

Not all of what Miles' says seems is purely a part of the sad clown portrait painted.

In fact, as the Courant's Jeff Jacobs points out, Miles sheds light on a few new shady details regarding the events leading to that infamous report, including how former assistant Tom Moore directly introduced Josh Nochimson to Miles, and that Calhoun encouraged Miles to have foot surgery before entering school

"Coach Calhoun and Josh thought it was best for me to get (the injury) taken care of before I got on campus. I guess Calhoun didn’t want (UConn) to have to pay for it, so (he wanted to) get it done before I came," Miles said. "Josh paid for it with one of his cards or one of Rip’s credit cards."

But for the most part, the Husky-never-to-be basically uses his first real chance to step up to the mic and give his side of the story to deflect any blame, ironically following Calhoun's lead until the bitter end.

Make no mistake: The university and the athletic department are far from clean in this matter. Recruiting is a dirty business, and Calhoun's failure to "create an atmosphere of compliance" during the wooing of Miles is pretty clear -- especially if what Miles says is true.

But that doesn't alleviate Miles himself from some of the fallout. Regardless of how much he tries to avoid it.

"They knew—Coach Calhoun and everybody on that staff and everybody at the University of Connecticut knew—that the story was going to break with Josh, so they railroaded me out of there," Miles said. "Coach Calhoun, no disrespect to him, he’s a good guy, he showed he cared about me while I was there, but they expelled me because—this is how I feel—because they knew that story was going to drop with Josh."

What Miles fails to mention, though, are his own wrongdoings. He goes out of his way to say how he doesn't harbor ill will toward the program or Calhoun, going as far to say he "roots for them to win it all and all that," but not once in the three pages of text does he admit fault. Nor is there much mention to Miles' checkered past before arriving at UConn, which made his admission into the school a tenuous situation to begin with.

Instead, it's described as some big setup. All it needs is some tommy guns and a guy named Mugsy.

But in reality, there are some incidents that Miles has no one to blame but himself.

It was Miles who made the call to that girl -- about whom Miles, in one of the most bizarre lines of the article, "told some of his teammates [...], only to find out that she had been with several members of the team the year before" -- violating his restraining order shortly after it was served. And it was the university's administration board, not Calhoun or the athletic department, that expelled him for doing so -- in addition to other allegations.

"I was at the highest stage I could have been on at that moment, and within not even three hours, it was all taken from me. Everything," Miles said.

Only because of your own actions, Nate.

UConn and its coaches took countless missteps in Miles' recruitment, and deserve all the backlash and sanctions that have come their way since.

But no matter how sad it is that Miles never go the shot in Storrs he so badly wanted, the only person he really can blame is himself.

Until then, we're better off with the sound of silence.

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