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Bethel reinstated, will serve 3-game suspension

Posted: July 16, 2014 - 4:33pm
Texas Tech Lady Raiders Head Coach Candi Whitaker and Texas Tech Football Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury address the reinstatement of freshman defensive back Nigel Bethel in a press conference on Wednesday. (Shannon Wilson/AJ Media)
Texas Tech Lady Raiders Head Coach Candi Whitaker and Texas Tech Football Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury address the reinstatement of freshman defensive back Nigel Bethel in a press conference on Wednesday. (Shannon Wilson/AJ Media)
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Nigel Bethel III, an incoming freshman corner back, has been reinstated to the Texas Tech football team.

Tech announced at a press conference Wednesday that he will serve a three-game suspension for his involvment in an incident at the 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 in a Texas Tech news release. "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."

Battle, a senior on the women's basketball team, has been suspended for the month of November for her role in the incident with Bethel.

"I'm relieved that Nigel is receiving a second chance because I believe in second chances," Battle said in the release. "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." 

A Lubbock County grand jury found no evidence to charge Bethel with a felony count of aggravated assault stemming from a fight with Lady Raider basketball player Amber Battle, Bethel’s attorney said in a news conference Tuesday.

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

Lubbock attorney Tray Payne, who is representing Bethel, said his client is relieved he no longer faces the pending criminal charge.

Additionally, the grand jury sent a letter to Tech officials asking Bethel be reinstated to the football team, he said.

The decision came two weeks after a pickup basketball game at the Tech recreation center that ended when Battle suffered a fractured bone in her face, sending her to the hospital.

Tech police responded to a reported aggravated assault at about 6 p.m. June 28 at the student recreation center. Investigators believe one student struck another student in the face, causing serious injury, according to a Tech police offense report. 

 

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8
4

Good

After watching the video, I think this was the right thing to do. I'm glad he is getting a second chance.

4
9

Suspension reversal

Once again, Tech athletic department puts potential success over what is morally right. Both parties should have been dismissed permantley, but both get off with slap of the wrist. This sets a great example of future ruling's of this type. Tech need's to sell PSA's to the Friday night fight's at the Rec Center.Once again, this news will show the rest of the nation how much this university has become a laughing stock. Instead of standing up for what is right, the Athletic program is deterred and swayed by misguided public opinion and some two-bit lawyers.

4
10

Suspension reversal

Once again, Tech athletic department puts potential success over what is morally right. Both parties should have been dismissed permantley, but both get off with slap of the wrist. This sets a great example of future ruling's of this type. Tech need's to sell PSA's to the Friday night fight's at the Rec Center.Once again, this news will show the rest of the nation how much this university has become a laughing stock. Instead of standing up for what is right, the Athletic program is deterred and swayed by misguided public opinion and some two-bit lawyers.

6
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@molarkid

Who died and left you arbiter of what is moral?

6
7

@nashville raider

The same person that allows you to state your opinion.

7
3

A wrong, righted

Bethel SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED until the investigation was COMPLETE(D).

A case of gun jumping by the decision maker(s). Oh well, no problem.

TTU fans, supporters, alumnus, and students know what is the right next thing for the most part....

5
7

explain

Maybe someone can explain how what they see on that video equates with what we have been told happened in that situation. Maybe they can also explain how someone who squares up on a basketball opponent who is turning around from a rebound, takes a step toward that opponent. and then cold-cocks that unsuspecting opponent with a vicious right-hand punch to the face has not committed, at the least, an aggravated assault.

This whole situation stinks of intimidation and coercion. Tech's athletic department has made itself look amateurish and incompetent. Bethel better be prepared for a long season of punches to the back of his head.

1
5

Uylssesttu

I completely agree with your comets, thanks. ,

5
11

No Excuses, No Accidents...they are pre-thoughts: 'Executed'...

Nigel Bethel III, comes with bad habits. So it would appear from his actions in the 'Assault Incident Noted'. Violence is not accepted, much less on the 'Basketball Court or any Playing Field.'

Yet, the University and Coaches say, don't worry Nigel will never do it again. 'He has learned his lesson'. Really? What did he learn?

That he can get away with this "un-sportsman like conduct" and outright criminal conduct and criminal behavior. Those are no accidents; these acts are pre-conceived notions and pre-conceived thoughts, 'Executed' when the opportunity presented itself.

It never seizes to amaze me. For example, in my investigation days,every time an individual was arrested for an act of violence such as 'firing a gun or clocking-someone with their fist', 95-99% of the time they would claim " it was an accident ! " Sure, it's always an accident, especially when they are caught and held accountable.

"But it was an Accident", is what they always claim ... followed by a litany of hackneyed excuses. They say, " I didn't mean it ".

Anyway Nigel, has gotten away with it. Which leaves The University and Coaches 'holding the liability-bag' next time Nigel decides to do it again or do something similar. Of course,there will be other claims and 'litany of hackneyed excuses'. " It was an accident, I didn't mean it."

However, the 'Liability' with which the University has just ' burdened themselves with', will not be an accident or a lightly matter. Because they know good and well what type of 'Explosive-Person Nigel is ' and that he don't know when or how to control it.

At the next 'opportunity he'll exploded again' , because that just the way he is . It's his 'habit', it's his 'pre-conceived notions' and when the situation is ripe...he'll 'Execute' .

8
3

Replay

Upon further review I totally agree with the decision on both parties. Nice job getting the suspension/ reinstatement correct and moving forward with the proper penalties.

7
3

@ Charlie

There are no criminal charges and both parties are moving on from this. There are penalties for all involved.

So when jace amaro boxed out the Baylor teddybear defender and got suspended/ reinstated were you ok with that? He wasn't supposed to pulverize the defender, he's a good dude, served his penalty, moved on and the rest is history.

Hopefully the same will happen here

6
0

I missed that in the article Charlie

Where in the article did it have the coaches stating he would never do that again? I think you exaggerated just a little bit or maybe told a little lie. You would have not been believable in your investigating days.

6
3

Yup...

It also never seizes to amaze me either.

Those ideas are certainly something to grab on to, capture and carry forward.....

1
6

Different rules

It remains seriously wrong for a man to strike a woman except in cases of actual self defense, which this was not. He could have walked away or ended it with a shove instead of slugging her. I have a feeling those running the university and perhaps those on the grand jury would have felt the same way had the culprit been ,say, a slow, poorly coordinated physics major and might have opted for a more severe punishment. But I understand the rules are different for young scholars who can run really fast forties. And, to be fair to Kliff, a three game suspension is a very severe punishment for a no-billed assault in the sleazy world of college football. Most coaches would have suspended him only for the season opening walk over, if that. We can hope the guy really has learned something from this and will stay out of trouble going forward.

4
1

Defense

As long as he can tackle, I'm good with this decision.

3
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@bernado

Looking at the tape and reviewing the circumstances, I'd say Nigel acted on reflex as we all might,

Battle is a bully!!

0
2

I've seen it all.

I agree with bill 214. Take me, Lord.

3
4

highlights

The yellow highlights on Whitaker's hair and the stuff on Goober's face that looks like a beard, really isn't. It's egg. Like I said in a previous post, if this hotheaded football player was a walk-on instead of someone's mythical future all American, he would already be back in the "hood" in Miami. Baloney on 2nd chances after hitting a woman. Tech coeds, don't play basketball with this idiot; you may get more than you expect.

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