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Baylor assistant athletic director Heath Nielsen charged with assaulting reporter

Baylor assistant athletic director Heath Nielsen charged with assaulting reporter Report: Baylor AD In Charge Of Public Image Charged With Assaulting Reporter
Rufina Vignone | 22 Novembre, 2016, 12:07

Police charged Heath Nielsen, Baylor's associate athletic director for communications, after James McBride, a reporter from the Keller, Texas-based Texas Blaze News, told police Nielsen assaulted him November 5 after the Bears' 62-22 loss to TCU in Waco, Texas.

Baylor associate athletic director Heath Nielsen was booked into McLennan County Jail on November 8 on a misdemeanor assault warrant stemming from an incident that took place following the Bears' loss to TCU on November 5.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit the station obtained, 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".

McBride told TWTX that Nielsen had been unhappy with some of the reporter's coverage of the Bears.

About that time they came in and tomahawk-chopped, trying to knock the phone that I had taken the picture with out of my hand.

The reporter, James McBride of The Blaze News, had asked a Baylor player after the loss to TCU if he could take a selfie with him.

Pictures of the wounds, which included what appear to be scratch marks on his throat, were taken and a spokesperson for Blaze News told KWTX that stadium cameras caught the incident on video.

Baylor's official media policy says "no interviews will be conducted on the field" after games, but it doesn't say anything about photography permission. "You're abusing your privileges on the field", Nielsen said right after the incident, according to McBride.

Earlier this year, Baylor fired head coach Art Briles, who had taken its long-downtrodden football team to national prominence, following an investigation by an outside law firm hired by the school that found the program had gone to great lengths to suppress numerous sexual-assault accusations lodged against players. He's now out on bond.

Even before this alleged incident, it's ponder-worthy how someone whose job involved maintaining the image of Baylor's football program still had one.

The conference assessed a $1,000 fine for the comments.

He joined the Baylor staff in 2000 after two years as assistant athletics director for media relations at New Mexico State University.

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