Report: Texas Tech recruit punched female basketball star in face

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

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Nigel Bethel is one of the highest-rated players in Texas Tech's incoming recruiting class, but if a report in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal is accurate, there's a good chance the defensive back will never suit up for the Red Raiders. Nor should he be allowed to.

The paper is reporting that Bethel punched Amber Battle, a player on Texas Tech's women's basketball team, in the face on Saturday following an incident at the school's recreation center. Battle will need to have surgery to repair the broken bone in her face suffered from the punch.

Texas Tech spokesman Blayne Beal confirmed to the paper that there was an incident between two student-athletes at the rec center on Saturday, but said that the school is still gathering information about the confrontation from both parties. Another Tech spokesman, Chris Cook, said that a police report was not complete as of Saturday night as the investigation is ongoing, and the report "likely won't be ready before Monday."

Battle was the leading scorer and rebounder on Texas Tech's women's team last season, averaging 16.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

Bethel was a three-star recruit out of Miami. He had originally committed to Miami before switching to Texas Tech before signing day.

UPDATE: Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman reported Sunday that Texas Tech has indeed dismissed Bethel from the team.

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