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Baylor Assistant AD Dodges Assault Indictment, Resigns Anyway

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Baylor assistant athletic director Heath Nielsen, who a grand jury declined to indict for assault yesterday, has resigned, reports the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Nielsen, who was the athletic director in charge of Baylor’s public image (I know, I know), was arrested in November and charged with misdemeanor assault. James McBride, a reporter for a local paper, told police that Nielsen grabbed his throat while he was trying to take a picture of a Baylor player on the field after a game, yelling “No interviews on the field!” According to the arrest affidavit, there were visible scratches on McBride’s neck, and he complained of pain on his throat.


For some reason, the case was presented to a grand jury, even though that it is unusual for grand juries to review misdemeanor charges. KWTX reports that stadium video captured the incident, and was viewed by the jurors. The University declined to give the video to KWTX, and as Baylor is a private school, the video isn’t likely to become public. Nielsen and his attorney gave thundering statements about the grand jury proving his innocence, though grand juries do not determine innocence (or even guilt), rather just whether to indict.

Last week KWTX reported that Nielsen was no longer with the university, that he had been working in “a much less visible role,” and at some point was punished by Baylor for the incident. Yesterday Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades confirmed that Nielsen had resigned.

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Kevin Draper

Reporter at the New York Times

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