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Nigel Bethel reinstated by Texas Tech, suspended for three games

Photo: Rivals.com

Well, this is, at least to me, a stunning development.

At a press conference Wednesday evening, Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced that Nigel Bethel has been reinstated to the Red Raiders football team. ┬áBethel, a 2014 signee, had been dismissed by Tech after he was involved in a physical altercation during a pickup basketball game. ┬áSpecifically, he punched a women’s basketball star, Amber Battle, in the face, an incident that was caught on tape.

Bethel was, however, suspended for the first three games of the 2014 season by the program as a condition of his reinstatement.

At the time Battle’s month-long suspension — she admitted to initiating the physical confrontation –was announced, TT athletic director Kirby Hocutt released a statement that read, in part, “Texas Tech Athletics does not tolerate violence against women.” Where that rather black-and-white stance stands now with this development is unclear.

The surprising decision comes a day after Bethel, facing felony charges, was cleared by a grand jury of wrongdoing. In announcing the decision, Bethel’s attorney stated that he “been provided a letter from the Lubbock County Grand Jury [addressed] to… Hocutt expressing their desire that [Bethel] be re-instated.” Whether that had anything to do with it remains to be seen.

Battle was a four-star member of the Red Raiders’ 2014 recruiting class.

Below are the statements from the press release:

KIRBY HOCUTT
“This is an unfortunate situation with a unique set of circumstances and there are no winners. Every decision related to this case has been the right one at that particular time based upon our principles, student-athlete code of conduct and team rules. As I continued to work with Coach Kingsbury and Coach Whitaker, we looked at the totality of the situation and have arrived at this decision. Two talented young people made a mistake, have shown remorse and learned some very valuable life lessons.”

NIGEL BETHEL
“I am thankful for the opportunity to come back to Texas Tech. 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.”

AMBER BATTLE
“I’m relieved that Nigel is receiving a second chance because I believe in second chances,” said Battle. “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.”

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8 Responses to “Nigel Bethel reinstated by Texas Tech, suspended for three games”
  1. canetic says: Jul 16, 2014 6:03 PM

    Lol.

  2. atxcane says: Jul 16, 2014 6:26 PM

    Good on TT, good on Nigel, and good on Amber. Everyone involved acknowledged their faults and responsibilities and moved on with reasonable punishments.

  3. gatorcheme says: Jul 16, 2014 6:41 PM

    I’m happy for all parties involved. It’s good that they found a way forward. We all need 2nd chances.

  4. 8to80texansblog says: Jul 16, 2014 7:54 PM

    Probably the best possible outcome for all parties involved. Good job Tech for finding the right resolution.

  5. raiderufan says: Jul 17, 2014 7:23 AM

    Wait a minute….did a school go back and do the right thing? Am I still asleeep?

  6. seminolez says: Jul 17, 2014 9:40 AM

    really squeezing all you can out of that one pictue, huh?

  7. whenwilliteverend says: Jul 17, 2014 1:27 PM

    I can see some ejections in his future. If he’s so willing to hit a woman in a pickup bsaketball game he’s probably going to react the same way when a receiver catches a pass on him and starts to talk trash. But maybe not since the receiver might hit back but then he’ll have a helmet….so who knows. It does bother me that he’s so easily provoked to start swinging….especially against a woman. Hopefully TTU is forcing them both to go to anger management therapy.

  8. uknowimright1 says: Jul 17, 2014 3:50 PM

    Hope they don’t live in the same dorm!

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