Courtesy of Brad Laird, it’s neither a player nor someone from the FBS level that’s at the center of the latest off-field issue in college football.
In 2018, Brad Laird was named as the head football coach at FCS Northwestern State. Saturday night, Laird was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated in Natchitoches, LA. No details of what led to the arrest have been released.
However, Northwestern State announced Monday that Laird has been suspended without pay for a week. The school did confirm, though, that Laird will retain his job moving forward.
The school also issued a pair of statements addressing the off-field development.
NSU ATHLETIC DIRECTOR GREG BURKE
“Brad Laird informed me on February 16 that he had been charged with a DWI the previous evening. The university takes misconduct by any employee seriously and especially one with the level of responsibility of a head coach. The university immediately investigated and confirmed this incident.
“I met with Coach Laird on the morning of February 17 and informed him that he would be suspended for one week without pay. He was also issued a letter of reprimand informing him of consequences that could result from any future misconduct that would violate the conditions of his contract with the university. The letter also outlined additional measures to address this incident. Having known Coach Laird for many years, I respect and was not surprised that he expressed regret about his lack of judgment in this incident and stated that it is his desire to learn from this matter and move forward as a better leader for the young men in the NSU football program.”
NSU HEAD FOOTBALL COACH BRAD LAIRD
“On Saturday night, February 15, I made a poor decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking alcohol. It was a poor and selfish decision, and I apologize to everyone who was unknowingly put at risk. I am extremely disappointed in this decision as this is not the type of behavior I instill in my players and staff. This was a lapse in judgment, and I take 100 percent responsibility for my actions.
“There are so many that are affected by my selfish decision. I would like to apologize to my family, Dr. Jim Henderson and the University Louisiana System, Dr. Chris Maggio and Northwestern State University, Mr. Greg Burke and the Northwestern State Athletic Department, and to the Northwestern State football players and coaches – past and present. As a role model for this great University and the players and coaches, I am disappointed as my actions were not in the best interest of my family, University, players and coaches. I completely understand there are consequences for all actions, and I accept the disciplinary terms that come with the decision I made Saturday night.”
In two seasons with the Demons, Laird has posted an 8-15 record. The school went 5-6 in 2018 and 3-9 in 2019. In between his first and second seasons, Laird added two Power Five transfers and another from BYU.
Laird actually played his college football at the FCS school. He also began his coaching career at his alma mater in 1996 as a graduate assistant.
In the ensuing years, the ties to NSU only deepened for Laird. From 2003-05 and again from 2008-11, Laird was the Demons’ defensive coordinator. Prior to being named head coach, he was the coordinator at NSU in 2017.