Baylor associate AD no longer with university following arrest

By Ben Everett | Sports Writer

Baylor associate athletic director for communications Heath Nielsen is no longer working for the Baylor athletics department, according to KWTX.

The departure comes three months after Nielsen was reportedly involved in a confrontation with James McBride, reporter for The Blaze News in Keller, following a home football loss to TCU on Nov. 5.

A Baylor spokesperson told the Lariat, “It’s a human resource/employment matter and we can’t provide comment at this time.”

Nielsen, a 16-year veteran of the Baylor athletic department, was arrested on a misdemeanor assault warrant following the event.

The arrest warrant affidavit, obtained by KWTX in November, details the situation.

“Nielsen walked up to McBride on the right, grabbed McBride by the throat with his right hand, squeezed and pushed him away from the football player,” the affidavit said.

Additionally, the affidavit detailed physical repercussions of the confrontation.

The affidavit said “McBride had visible scratches and complained of pain around his throat.”

Nielsen’s attorney, Michelle Tuegel, released a statement after the event denying the claims.

“The one-sided version of events released by the complainant are not true or accurate,” Tuegel said in a statement. “Mr. Nielsen maintains that he intervened to stop the interview, but he did not grab the complainant’s throat. We look forward to vigorously defending Mr. Nielsen and presenting the facts involved in this situation.”

Nielsen joined the Baylor staff following a two-year stint at New Mexico State University. In his first 12 years in Waco, Nielsen served six as director of athletic media relations and six years as assistant athletic director of communications.

In 2012, Nielsen was put in charge of managing the football program’s public image.

Following the arrest, Nielsen was moved to a position outside the public eye before his Baylor career ended last Friday, according to KWTX.

Additionally, Nielsen’s profile was removed from the Baylor athletics website, and his Twitter profile no longer pertains to Baylor.

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