Just one day after the Arizona Coyotes officially renounced his draft rights, the University of North Dakota announced on Friday that defenseman Mitchell Miller has been removed from its hockey team.
The Coyotes drafted Miller in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL draft despite the fact he and another student had been involved in the racist abuse of a developmentally disabled classmate several years earlier.
Miller was sentenced to 25 hours of community service and required to participate in counseling as a result of his actions.
The abuse included physical abuse, racial slurs, and tricking the student into eating candy that had been placed in a urinal.
In recent days more information surfaced about Miller’s actions, including the revelation from the mother of the victim, Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, that Miller had never apologized or worked to make amends for his actions, while showing little to no remorse.
The announcement from North Dakota came in a letter from university president Andrew Armacost.
That letter reads as follows:
“Dear UND Campus Community,
I have been closely monitoring the situation concerning Men’s Hockey student-athlete Mitchell Miller, who was involved in a situation as a youth in 2016. We expect our students to live by our values in the classroom, in the community and when representing the University on the field of play.
After much consideration and discussions with Mitchell, the Miller family, our Athletics Direction, Bill Chaves, and coach Brad Berry, I have decided that the best course of action for Mitchell and the University is that he no longer be a member of the UND Men’s Hockey program. Mitchell may remain a student at UND and we will continue to support his future intellectual and interpersonal growth.
We wish Mitchell well in whatever path he chooses in his future endeavors.
Lastly, I want to thank coach Berry and Athletics Director Chaves for working with me as we navigated through this difficult decision together, and for working with Mitchell and his family.”
The Coyotes initially planned on sticking with the Miller pick, arguing they were in a good position to help guide him and become a leader in preventing racism and bullying in the future. That position turned out to be disastrous and brought instant criticism.
Every team — including the Coyotes — knew of the incidents, with several reportedly removing Miller from their draft boards entirely.