The next sordid chapter in the soap opera that’s been playing out in Lubbock over the past several days has officially been written.
Texas Tech announced Friday that women’s basketball star Amber Battle has been suspended for the entire month of November for her role in a fight with 2014 Red Raiders football signee Nigel Bethel II. Battle, who led the Lady Red Raiders in scoring, rebounds and assists last season, acknowledged that she made the first initial physical contact with Bethel during a pickup basketball game last weekend at the on-campus student rec center.
Bethel allegedly responded by hitting Battle in the face and was subsequently dismissed by the football program.
Here’s Battle’s statement of contrition sent out by Tech:
“During a pickup basketball game on June 28, I was involved in an incident with Texas Tech football player Nigel Bethel. I initiated the first contact and I take full responsibility for my actions. I want to take this time to apologize to Nigel, the Texas Tech community, my teammates, coaches and fans.
“Nothing I can say can truly repair the harm I have already caused. I did not represent the Double T like I am supposed to and I promise to hold myself to a higher standard from here on.”
Bethel, a four-star member of Tech’s 2014 recruiting who was expected to make an immediate contribution, could face felony charges over the incident, which remains under investigation. In its release announcing Battle’s punishment for her role, the school stated that “Texas Tech Athletics does not tolerate violence against women.”
Based on last season’s schedule — I have been unable to find a 2014-15 Red Raiders women’s hoops slate — Battle will miss somewhere in the neighborhood of five games because of the month-long suspension.