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Dismissed Texas Tech DB Nigel Bethel II reinstated, suspended

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

Dismissed defensive back Nigel Bethel II has been reinstated by Texas Tech and will be suspended for the first three games of the 2014 season.

Bethel, a three-star recruit out of Miami, was dismissed last month after he punched Amber Battle, the leading scorer on Texas Tech's women's basketball team. Bethel was cleared by a grand jury on Tuesday, avoiding assault charges. In a statement, Battle said that she and Bethel "were both at fault" in the scrap, which took place during an on-campus pickup basketball game.

Battle received a one-month suspension from Texas Tech for her involvement. Bethel's three-game suspension -- one-fourth of the season -- is intended to match the one handed to the women's basketball star.

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

Athletic director Kirby Hocutt said he hoped both players "learned some very valuable life lessons."

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

Bethel will miss Texas Tech's contests against Central Arkansas, UTEP and Arkansas as a result of the suspension.

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