Texas Tech reinstates Nigel Bethel, allows return to football pr - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Texas Tech reinstates Nigel Bethel, allows return to football program

The two TTU coaches announced their decision in a joint press conference The two TTU coaches announced their decision in a joint press conference
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Texas Tech University has decided to reinstate Nigel Bethel II and allow him to rejoin the football program.

Texas Tech released this statement on Wednesday:

Freshman defensive back Nigel Bethel has been reinstated to the Texas Tech Football program after being initially dismissed from the team for his role in an incident at the Texas Tech Student Recreation Center on June 28.

"This is an unfortunate situation with a unique set of circumstances and there are no winners," said Kirby Hocutt, Director of Athletics. "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."

The stipulations of his reinstatement call for him to miss 25 percent (three games) of his first season.

"I am thankful for the opportunity to come back to Texas Tech," said Bethel. "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, a senior on the women's basketball team, has been suspended for the month of November (25 percent of the season) for her role in the incident with Bethel.

"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."

The decision came after a Lubbock County Grand Jury refused to charge Bethel for allegedly punching Lady Raider Amber Battle during a June 28 pick-up basketball game at the Student Recreation Center.

The grand jury took the extraordinary step of writing directly to Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt, recommending that Bethel be reinstated to the program.

The letter said, "We desire to see Mr. Bethel's scholarship re-instated. If he is re-instated, it is our belief that his consequences should not be greater than those of Ms. Battle."

Bethel was removed from the football program the day after the incident. Battle will be suspended for the month of November. Bethel will be suspended for three games.

Battle admitted that she "initiated the first contact" and apologized to "Nigel, the Texas Tech community, my teammates, coaches and fans" in a statement released on July 4.

Copyright 2014 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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