The saga at the top of the Southern athletic department continues.
The Southern System Board of Supervisors voted in March to reassign athletic director William Broussard for a four-month period beginning April 1. The board offered no explanation for the unusual move and no one from the board has spoken publicly about it.
The reassignment was announced in a statement that read in part: “We fully anticipate that Dr. Broussard will return as Director of Athletics on Aug. 1, 2015.”
Broussard, who has spent the past four months fundraising as an assistant to the President of the Southern University System, said he’s prepared to accept the “re-reassignment” and return to work in the athletic director’s office Monday.
But when asked to provide an update on the leadership of the athletic department, the university said in an email Wednesday, “there is no information at this time.” Additional requests for information yielded none Thursday.
“I don’t know where we’re at,” men’s basketball coach Roman Banks, who took over as interim athletic director when Broussard was reassigned, said Thursday. “I expect I’ll hear something in the next few days. I’m operating day to day until something else happens. It could be (Friday).”
This is a critical time for the Jaguars athletic department. The football team reports Sunday for the start of preseason practice and classes begin Aug. 17.
Additionally, even though an NCAA postseason ban because of inadequate reporting of student-athletes’ academic progress rates was lifted May 15, another important APR deadline is looming.
Southern is scheduled to provide updated APR scores for each athletic program Aug. 15. Missing the deadline or providing unusable data would result in the postseason ban being reapplied, the NCAA has said.
“Things are going well,” Banks said. “I think we’re ahead of time. I think we’re in a pretty good place. We’re going to make the deadline, but it’s not enough to just make the deadline. We have to be accurate with the data, and I think with the checks and balances we’ve put in across campus we will be.”
Broussard, whose contract runs through June 30, 2017, and calls for an annual salary of $138,000, went to work for Chancellor Ronald Mason in April.
Since Broussard’s reassignment, Ray Belton has replaced Mason, whose contract was not renewed, in the newly created position of president and chancellor.
Follow Les East on Twitter @EastAdvocate.