Tossed Aside: Nate Miles
This article is 3 pages long so im going to post the main parts follow the link to read the rest
“Coach Calhoun told me that I had a chance to be a great player,” Miles said, “all I had to do was listen to him.”
Unfortunately for Miles, he took Calhoun’s advice.
The world collapsed on Nate Miles on Sept. 22, 2008. It had all been going perfectly, too. He was playing the best basketball he ever had.
“When I first got there… I was murdering. Killing. Pros coming back, Rudy (Gay), anybody, I was killing. I was in the best shape of my life,” Miles said. “Then that shit happened with that girl.”
After meeting a sophomore girl at UConn, he told some of his teammates about her, only to find out that she had been with several members of the team the year before. Miles immediately cut off contact with her. When he received a restraining order from the girl, accusing of him of attempting to force her to have sex, Miles couldn’t believe it. He called his coaches. No answer. He called his legal guardian. No answer. Wondering why this was happening, he called the girl—a violation of the order.
“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.
After the case went to trial, though, the girl said that her and Miles’ relationship was consensual. More, she said that she no longer wished to keep the restraining order, and that all she wanted from Miles was an apology. But the damage was done. UConn expelled Miles.
Miles was stunned to learn of his fate. He had evidence in his favor, but they didn’t seem to matter to the school.
“I had phone records before I got expelled—that’s why I think they really didn’t want me there or something. We had all the phone records and it was all right. (All the calls) was her to me, and they still expelled me,” Miles said.
Further, a gaping double standard surfaced. Ben Spencer, a walk-on guard at UConn, was served with a restraining order a short time before Miles. Spencer though, violated his order by showing up at the home of the woman who filed the order and breaking her windows. He was charged with breaking and entering and damaging property, although the charges were later dropped. Spencer received a suspension, but was allowed to come back to the basketball team.
The comparison with Spencer was the crowning jewel of Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway’s relationship with Miles. Miles couldn’t help but think Hathaway didn’t want him at Connecticut from the beginning. Calhoun, who reportedly has a frosty relationship with Hathaway, fought to get Miles to UConn in 2007, but Hathaway intentionally dragged his feet.
“Whenever it was time for me to come or for me to get closer to coming, I guess (Hathaway) was always trying to slow the process down,” Miles said. “I was trying to get there after my senior year (in 2007) because I re-classified. (Calhoun) was trying to make it so I didn’t have to go through none of that, but (Hathaway) was having none of that.”
Josh Nochimson got what he wanted by becoming the team manager at Connecticut: access to great players. While manager, he befriended the Huskies’ star guard, Richard Hamilton. Nochimson and Hamilton grew close, and Nochimson got a great in-road into being an agent, his dream job.
Hamilton was made aware that Nochimson reportedly stole over $1 million from him. And when the press got word of Nochimson’s misdeeds, they also found out about his next prize client: Nate Miles.
Says Miles: “When they go to look for all the bad stuff with Josh, my name popped up.”
One of the journalists who started digging was Dan Wetzel, author of Sole Influence and Yahoo! Sports columnist.
“Rip was willing to do a story about (Nochimson) because he thought a lot of guys were getting ripped off, for lack of a better term. We wanted to know where his money went,” Wetzel said. “Well, we heard he was taking Rip Hamilton’s money and using it as feed money to get his agency going by paying college kids.
“We were going to do a story on what a weird business (it was), stealing from your one client to get the younger kid. Probably, his most dedicated client was Nate Miles.”
Along with Adrian Wojnarowski, Wetzel unearthed all the incriminating evidence involved with the situation. Phone records showed that Nochimson, an illegal recruiter by every NCAA standard, was regularly in contact with Miles and the UConn coaching staff.
“You had UConn, (which) knew about them having the relationship, then you have phone records where they were clearly in contact—they were averaging, like, three calls a day between some member of the staff and Nochimson—there’s no way you’re talking to somebody three times a day for three years and not know what’s going on,” Wetzel said.
UConn released a bizarre press release acknowledging the situation, referring to Miles only as “the student-athlete mentioned in the article” and saying Miles “departed” from the school before playing a game.
The records Yahoo! obtained showed that Nochimson paid for meals and housing for Miles, and even went so far as paying for foot surgery for Miles before he was on campus—something Calhoun not only knew about but encouraged.
“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 what Miles doesn’t understand is how he was still forced to bite the bullet by his lonesome; UConn knew the story was coming.
“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.”
Even after the NCAA investigation, the Connecticut brass hardly suffered. Calhoun was ordered to serve a pathetic three-game suspension, but he gets to serve it next year after UConn’s money-making games in the Big East Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. Tom Moore, who not only looked the other way, but initiated Miles’ relationship with Nochimson, actually made money in the long run. He took the head coaching job at Quinnipiac and suffered no consequences. He coached the Bobcats to a second-place finish in the Northeast Conference this past season.
Nate Miles is not a saint, to be sure. But he isn’t a degenerate, as he was often made out to be. He could harbor a great deal of resentment toward UConn or Nochimson or Calhoun, but he doesn’t. He could be jealous of Kemba Walker, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger Kemba fan; however, Miles still can’t shake the thought of what could have been in his freshman season. The Huskies made the 2009 Final Four without him—what could they have been with him?
“I still root for them to win it all and all that. I have nothing against Connecticut. I wish I could’ve been a part of that,” Miles said. “I think we could have won it all (in 2009). I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. I think about that shit every day.”
Miles is now living in South Toledo, taking care of his two young sons and preparing for a final chance that may or may not come.
“I wanna play ball. I can’t do nothing else, I don’t want to do nothing else,” Miles said. “I want people to give me a fair shot, a fair opportunity to get back to where I was… I think somebody out there will give me a chance.”
The sad part is that Miles is one of many talented players who never made it. UConn goes on, and the system goes on, but what happens to the kids who got chewed up and spit out?
“These kids are commodities. They’re the only people on Earth that you can look and say, ‘There’s an extremely high likelihood that they’re going to be worth huge money, overnight millionaires, in two, three years,’” Wetzel said. “The NBA’s age limit and the NCAA’s amateur rules are trying to stop the wheels of capitalism, and that will never, ever, ever work.
“College basketball, if you don’t have players, you’re done. You lose. You’re not selling out your arena, you’re not making money. So what are you going to do to get players?…It’s ‘Why obey the rules?’ The whole system is a mess.”
Still, Miles doesn’t feel cheated. “I don’t feel betrayed because you got to save your own ass. You have to save your program and the other 11, 12 people on the team, but this (is) somebody’s life, though,” Miles said. “I felt like I was used. I wish I could do it all over again from ninth grade on.”
Miles can’t go back to being a freshman at Libbey, nor can he take back all the things that happened, nor can he erase the poor reputation that’s followed him since UConn. But Miles can still hear Calhoun’s promise. Listen to me and you’ll make it.
“I was doing what (UConn) was telling me to do. Calhoun and everybody on that staff knew Josh was doing that stuff for me. Everybody knew,” Miles said. “They were talking to Josh as much as I was talking to Josh, but at the end of the day, the only ones who lose are me and Josh.”
Josh Nochimson did not respond to calls seeking comment. The University of Connecticut said it would not comment further on the matter after the NCAA’s Investigation concluded in February.
I JUST read this. Good article. Is he as talenetd as they say? Best of luck to him and hopefully we'll hear more of him.
Wow this is crazy but it is real. Universities are shady. They NCAA is shady. I wondered what happened to Nate Miles.
He was drafted into the d league and then was cut later on, he currently plays for Dayton Air Strikers of the PBL