Premium Partners

Baylor Official Released After Assault of Sportswriter

Jason Scott

Baylor associate athletic director Heath Nielsen is free on bond after he was arrested earlier this month on a misdemeanor assault charge.

Nielsen allegedly grabbed a sportswriter by the throat and pushed him away from a player after the Baylor football team’s loss to TCU on Nov. 5.

James McBride, a writer for a local newspaper in Texas, was the victim in the attack. McBride had asked for a photo with a player, to which the player consented. But as McBride was beginning to take the photo, he was allegedly attacked. 

“I was leaning back to take the photo. I heard somebody who I didn’t know at this point in time yell from my right-hand side, saying ‘no interviews on the field,’ “ McBride told KWTX.

“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. They were unsuccessful in trying to do that, and when they couldn’t do that they came up and they grabbed my throat, and I pulled back. Whenever I looked up, I saw that it was Heath Nielsen,” McBride continued.

McBride had covered the team before, and told KWTX that he had a good relationship with other members of the Baylor athletic department, including executive associate athletic director Nick Joos, but had had some issues with Nielsen in the past. Nielsen had reportedly taken issue with some of McBride’s coverage.

McBride has reportedly called for Nielsen to be fired, and said that he also wants a hand-written note of apology.

Nielsen was charged with assault with bodily injury.

Update: Nielsen's attorney responded to the allegations with the following statement:

AB Show 2022 in Orlando
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Learn More
AB Show
Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide