Texas Tech CB Nigel Bethel reinstated, suspended three games


Well, that was quick.

Texas Tech reinstated defensive back Nigel Bethel on Wednesday after the true freshman was initially dismissed from the team following an incident during an on-campus pick-up basketball game.

The university released surveillance video earlier Wednesday that shows Bethel punch Lady Raiders basketball player Amber Battle during the game following an altercation between the two.

"This is an unfortunate situation with a unique set of circumstances and there are no winners," Kirby Hocutt, Tech's Director of Athletics, said in a statement posted to the school's athletics website. "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."

Both Bethel and Battle were suspended for 25 percent of their upcoming seasons, which means Bethel will serve a three-game suspension.

"I am thankful for the opportunity to come back to Texas Tech," Bethel said in the statement. "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."

Bethel was cleared by a grand jury earlier in the week and won't face charges stemming from the incident. Members of the grand jury who heard his case took the unusual step of writing a letter to the school supporting Bethel's reinstatement and return to the team if the school did not punish both parties equally.

Bethel reportedly is back home in Miami, Fla., and the timing of his return to Lubbock is still uncertain.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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