Charges dropped vs. Nigel Bethel II
Former Texas Tech cornerback Nigel Bethel II will not face assault charges for hitting a Red Raiders women's basketball player, according to his attorney.
Lubbock attorney Tray Payne told ESPN.com that the charges against Bethel were dropped after a grand jury found there was no evidence to substantiate assault nor probable cause to pursue charges.
"This is not what it was made out to be," Payne said. "He's a good kid with no criminal history, and this was out of character."
Bethel was facing felony assault charges after hitting Texas Tech women's basketball player Amber Battle during an on-campus pickup basketball game. The freshman from Miami was dismissed from the program a day later, on June 29.
Bethel told ESPN.com that he was "very relieved" by the grand jury's verdict but referred all other questions to Payne.
Battle, the Red Raiders' leading scorer in 2013-14, has admitted to having "initiated the first contact" in the incident and was suspended by Texas Tech for the month of November.
A former ESPN 300 recruit from Miami's Booker T. Washington High School, Bethel has completed his summer school session at Texas Tech and returned home to Miami, but has not decided which school he will attend next.
"The right decision, in our mind, would be for Tech to reinstate him and we go on down the road and he has a great career as a Red Raider," Payne said. "But if that's not the reality, I believe there are other schools that would love to have him on their team, and rightfully so."
Texas Tech did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to Payne, the incident occurred when Bethel attempted to block a shot by Battle and committed a foul during the basketball game at TTU's recreational center.
"As Bethel turned to go back down the court, Battle swung and punched Bethel in the head," Payne said. "Bethel's body language showed he had been struck, and he immediately turned toward Battle and struck her with his right hand on the left side of her face."
Payne said there was no additional fighting beyond Bethel's punch and that reports that Battle suffered a broken jaw were incorrect.
"My biggest issue with this was the lack of due process," Payne said. "This kid, in less than 48 hours, without even anyone seeing the video or reading the reports or even getting the truth, gets kicked out for no cause other than what they've heard. If this had been a normal student, it wouldn't have happened."