Drake University Sued After Basketball Coach Allegedly Lied About Shooting

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 14, 2020

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Nathaniel Miller Jr. has filed a lawsuit against Drake University after being shot in the head by a men's basketball player last summer, claiming a coach instructed his player to lie to police about the incident, according to Tyler J. Davis of the Des Moines Register.

The incident in question took place in August 2019 when Tremell Murphy, a forward on the basketball team, accidentally shot another student during a party. The firearm was legally owned by Murphy, who was at his house near the Drake campus.

When police arrived, Murphy told the officers Miller had fallen on a wet floor and hit his head.

The player was eventually charged with making false reports to law enforcement and discharging a firearm within city limits. He pled guilty to the two misdemeanors but did not spend any time in jail.

According to the lawsuit—which claimed Murphy, the university and the property managers of the house as defendants—an unnamed men's basketball coach arrived to the scene before police officers and told Murphy to deny involvement in the injury.

The plaintiff claims that proper medical care was delayed because of the misinformation and that Miller is still suffering physically from the shooting.

Drake University has denied the claims in the lawsuit.

"It is not true as claimed by the plaintiff that a Drake men’s basketball coach told Mr. Murphy to deny involvement in Mr. Miller's injuries," the school said in a statement, via Davis. "Additionally, the residence in which the shooting incident took place is a private residence and is not owned or otherwise affiliated with the university."

Murphy 32 games for Drake in 2018-19 after joining the team as a junior college transfer. He was suspended five games in the 2019-20 season after being charged, and a December knee injury ended his season early.