Texas Tech reinstates Nigel Bethel II, who hit Lady Raider hoops player
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas Tech has reinstated a highly regarded defensive back from Miami who last month broke the jaw of a Lady Raiders basketball player.
Tech athletics spokesman Blayne Beal said Wednesday that freshman Nigel Bethel II will return to the team, but will sit out the first three games of the season. The stipulations of his reinstatement call for him to miss 25 percent of his first season.
Berthel punched Amber Battle -- according to a police report, caused serious bodily injury with ''hands, fists, feet, etc.'' -- during a June 28 pickup basketball game at the campus recreation center and was dismissed from the football program the next day. However, Lubbock County grand jurors declined to indict Bethel on an aggravated assault charge Tuesday.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury said as more information on the incident came to light, the decision to dismiss Bethel was revisited.
"I am thankful for the opportunity to come back to Texas Tech," Bethel said. "I take full responsibility for my actions and I would like to let everyone know that this won't happen again. It's not who I am and I am sorry for the embarrassment this has caused. I want to thank Amber Battle for accepting my apology and for coming forward to say that I deserved a second chance. I would like to thank everyone at Texas Tech, including the coaches, for believing in me and giving me a second chance to show my ability and to receive an education from Texas Tech."
Battle, who has acknowledged shoving Bethel first, will sit out the month of November (25 percent of the season). Battle, a guard, led the Lady Raiders last season as a junior with 16.4 points per game.
"I'm relieved that Nigel is receiving a second chance because I believe in second chances," Battle said. "We were both at fault in this situation and I believe our punishment should be equal. This is a good opportunity for us to learn from our mistakes and I think we both have. Hopefully now we can move forward and focus on helping our teams compete at the highest level."
Texas Tech Athletics contributed to this report.