Texas Tech announced the reinstatement of freshman cornerback Nigel Bethel to the football program in a press conference Wednesday afternoon on campus.
Bethel was originally dismissed from the football team on June 29 for an incident involving women’s basketball player Amber Battle at the Texas Tech recreation center the previous day. Battle was suspended for the first month of the season for her actions; Bethel will receive a three-game suspension. Both punishments equate to 25 percent of their respective seasons.
“This is an unfortunate situation with a unique set of circumstances and there are no winners,” said Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt in a press 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.”
Football coach Kliff Kingsbury and women’s basketball coach Candice Whitaker held a joint press conference to explain the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“It’s been an ongoing process internally,” Kingsbury said. “We have just been trying to get to what we felt was the best answer. There’s not a winner in this deal, it’s a bad situation all the way around, but this is what we got.”
The announcement came a day after a Lubbock County grand jury cleared Bethel of all charges related to the altercation with Battle, and also signed a letter to Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt requesting that Bethel be reinstated to the football program.
“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.”
Nigel Bethel surprised a lot of people when he flipped his long-time Miami commitment to Texas Tech…