Texas Tech star Battle admits to starting fight

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Texas Tech [right] is more of a football school than a basketball one (©GettyImages)
Texas Tech [right] is more of a football school than a basketball one (©GettyImages).

We reported last week that Texas Tech recruit Nigel Bethel II was possibly facing punishment after punching a lady Red Raider basketball player in the face during a pick-up basketball game.

Since, Bethel has been kicked off the team and returned to Miami, his hometown, to figure out where he will continue his playing career going forward. There is now a new twist to the confrontation though.

Amber Battle, the Texas Tech point guard involved in the fight, admitted to actually initiating first contact in the fight.

"I initiated the first contact and I take full responsibility for my actions," Battle said in a statement. "I want to take this time apologize to Nigel, the Texas Tech community, my teammates, coaches and fans. Nothing I can say can truly repair the harm I have already caused."

Battle will be suspended for the entire month of November as a result.

As we previously reported, Battle is a senior and was the Lady Raider's leading scorer last year, with 16.4 points per game. She had surgery on a broken bone in her face after the incident.

Other than the temporary suspension and a hit to her public image, Battle will emerge relatively unharmed by her role in the fight. That's not quite the case for Bethel.

The former three-star prospect, known for his blazing speed after winning Florida state gold medals in multiple track events, was expected to compete for a starting spot for Texas Tech next season. That opportunity is lost.

Bethel had yet to start his first season with the Raiders after getting on campus for the first time this summer. But because he had participated in team activities and was already taking classes at the school, it's unclear whether or not he could lose a year of eligibility or even be forced to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules.

Typically, players have to sit out from Division I competition for a year when switching schools.

It's not surprising that Texas Tech chose to rid itself of Bethel. Any type of assault from a player is hard to deal with from a publicity perspective, but it is worsened when it involves a woman as the target.

In its release, Texas Tech noted that "Texas Tech Athletics does not tolerate violence against women."

But now the issue is made murkier by the fact that Battle started at least the physical aspect of the fight, which resulted in Bethel's ousting.

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