Texas Tech recruit punches female athlete in the face

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Mark this as one of the strangest stories you'll hear from the college sports world.

Texas Tech cornerback Nigel Bethel II, a freshman who has yet to start his first season with the Raiders, reportedly punched a lady Red Raider in the face during a friendly basketball game.

The recipient of the punch was star women's basketball player Amber Battle, who was the team's leading scorer last year with 16.4 points per game. She broke a bone in her face, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Battle posted on Twitter soon after the incident, tweeting "Pray for me y'all," and "Thank y'all for the calls, texts and visits."

Meanwhile, Bethel also purportedly took to Twitter as well.

"Trouble always seems to find me," was tweeted from the Twitter account @NigelBethel, according to the Avalanche-Journal, though it seems to have been deleted as of Sunday.

The school has yet to issue a statement about the incident, or to release a requisite police report from campus or local authorities.

If Bethel did come swinging, it may cost the football team a valuable player.

Texas Tech released its depth chart after spring practice, with cornerbacks Justis Nelson, Thierry Nguema and La'Darius Newbold each listed as the starting options.

However, Bethel was supposed to compete in that mix.

The freshman from Booker T. Washington high school in Miami was the team's highest-rated new recruit, a three-star prospect and 5-foot-9, 173-pound athlete.

He was dubbed one of the fastest athletes in Florida by ESPN, after he won gold medals in the 100-yard and 200-yard dashes, as well as one in the 400-meter relay. In that interview, Bethel said he chose the Red Raiders because of their ability to upset opponents, as well as their fast 7-0 start last season.

It was an impressive get for Texas Tech, who made Bethel flip his commitment to Miami to get him there. If his play followed his hype, it would seem reasonable for him to find the field this year.

But all that hard work might have been wasted if Bethel did punch Battle.

The team will have to make a decision, and quick. Suspending Bethel for a game or two might be enough, but then again, that depends on the public outcry. Hitting a woman is terrible enough, but hitting the star of the women's basketball team and potentially breaking her nose?

That's a lot more difficult to sweep under the rug.

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