Baylor University associate athletics director Heath Nielsen announced his resignation from the role on Thursday, a day after a McLennan County grand jury cleared him of grabbing a reporter by the throat after a November football game.
Nielsen, 47, was a 17-year employee of Baylor media relations.
“As for my being proven innocent of recent false allegations, I’m grateful for video evidence that exposed the truth,” Nielsen said in a statement posted on his Twitter account. “Suffice it to say I have a newfound respect for the presumption of innocence and how seriously damaging fictitious allegations can be.”
Nielsen was arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge by Baylor police Nov. 8 after a Baylor football game at McLane Stadium, where he was accused of grabbing a reporter from the Keller-based Texas Blaze newspaper. The reporter “had visible scratches and complained of pain around his throat,” an affidavit said.
Nielsen’s lawyer, Michelle Tuegel, said after the arrest that Nielsen intervened when he noticed the reporter attempting to conduct an unauthorized interview with a player on the field.
“Finally, thanks to the Baylor family — the many students, coaches, administrators and staff — for taking us in these last two decades,” Nielsen said. “It has been an honor to work alongside you. I’m certain our next chapter (wherever He leads the Nielsen family) will be rewarding.”
Mack Rhoades, Baylor’s director of athletics, confirmed Nielsen’s resignation Thursday evening.