Southern has temporarily reassigned athletic director William Broussard without explanation.
The university announced in a statement Thursday afternoon that Broussard will move to the Southern University System Office on April 1 with the expectation that he will return to the athletic department Aug. 1. Men’s basketball coach Roman Banks will double as athletic director during that time.
The brief statement gave no reason for the unusual move.
“The reassignment is a personnel matter and therefore the University can not discuss it publicly,” the statement read. “The University will have no further comment on the subject.
“We fully anticipate that Dr. Broussard will return as Director of Athletics on Aug. 1, 2015.”
Broussard confirmed his reassignment in a text message to The Advocate on Thursday morning, but did not respond to a request for further comment. Banks did not return a phone message.
The Southern Board’s athletic committee is scheduled to address the athletic director situation at a regularly scheduled meeting Friday morning. The board members were on retreat Thursday and unavailable for comment.
Broussard, who was hired three years ago amid NCAA sanctions stemming from inadequate Academic Progress Rates, has been at the center of a university-wide effort to get the NCAA to lift a postseason ban that was instituted more than a year ago because the university supplied inadequate APR data.
The submission of inadequate data, some of which dates a decade, predated Broussard’s tenure.
Broussard said last week that the next step in trying to move past the APR issue is the certification of athletes for the fall semester. That work will begin in June to present the certification to the NCAA on Aug. 15.
“It’s a pretty massive undertaking,” Broussard said at the time. “Some faculty will be coming off their summer vacations to help us finish it.”
It was unclear Thursday whether Broussard will be involved in the certification during his reassignment, though his role in the University System Office would seem to require additional duties beyond those limited to an individual campus.
Broussard had said he was hopeful that the submission of the fall certification would lead to the ban being lifted before the Nov. 1 end of the current probation period.
All Jaguars teams are ineligible for NCAA postseason competition.
Broussard, 36, received a three-year contract extension in April that runs though June 30, 2017. The deal included a raise in Broussard’s annual salary from $115,000 to $138,000.
The Southern Board’s academic committee voted 7-1 in favor of the extension, and the full board voted 15-1.
Follow Les East on Twitter @EastAdvocate.