Former Booker T. Washington star Nigel Bethel II dismissed from Texas Tech team, faces felony assault charge

 
 
Former Booker T. Washington football and track star Nigel Bethel II.
Former Booker T. Washington football and track star Nigel Bethel II.
MICHELLE KANAAR / FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

sdeen@MiamiHerald.com

Former Miami Booker T. Washington cornerback Nigel Bethel II was dismissed from the Texas Tech football team Sunday and faces felony assault charges after he was accused of hitting one of the school’s women’s basketball players in the face during a pickup basketball game on the school’s campus.

A Texas Tech Police Department offense report released Monday accuses Bethel – enrolled in his first month at the school after graduating from Booker T. in May – of “causing serious bodily injury” by hitting Amber Battles on Saturday. The one-page report states the attack included “hands, fists, feet, etc.”

Bethel was released from custody pending formal charges by the Lubbock County district attorney’s office.

Battle is expected to undergo surgery for a broken bone, according to the Lubbock (Texas) Avalanche-Journal.

On Monday, Booker T. coach Tim Harris Jr. said the news was “mind-blowing and shocking to all of us [at the school].” Harris said Texas Tech is allowing Bethel to finish his summer term at the school, which ends July 3, before he returns home to Miami.

“It definitely caught us off guard,” Harris said. “He’s a kid that’s been in our program for four years, and we’ve never had this kind of situation with him before.”

Bethel was expected to play football and run track for the Red Raiders. He committed to Texas Tech on Jan. 10, a day after decommitting from the University of Miami’s 2014 recruiting class.

Harris said other schools have already reached out for Bethel’s services, but he could not say which. Harris said Bethel will “hopefully” be enrolled at another school “by the end of summer.”

Bethel won the Miami Herald’s All-Dade Boys’ Track and Field Athlete of the Year award in May for his accomplishments during his senior season. He was also a finalist for Class 5A-1A Male Athlete of the Year award recognizing athletes who played multiple sports.

Information from the Associated Press was contributed to this report.

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