ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Campus police at Sandia High School, escorted by Athletics Director Tom Knauber, found drug paraphernalia in the office of basketball coach Alvin Broussard.
But it’s Knauber – not Broussard – who has been placed on administrative leave while the district “investigates allegations into possible misconduct,” according to APS spokeswoman Monica Armenta.
According to KRQE-TV, Knauber is suspected of planting a “pot pipe” in Broussard’s office. The station further reported that Knauber was caught on campus video entering Broussard’s office the day before an anonymous tip was given to Sandia about the coach possessing something illicit.
Broussard’s attorney, Leon Howard, said the alleged incident occurred at the end of spring break week.
“One thing we can definitively say is that in no way were the items found in coach Broussard’s office any way related to him or connected to him,” Howard said.
APS would not confirm why Knauber, Sandia’s longtime AD, was put on leave. Broussard is not on leave, Armenta said.
Howard said Broussard told him the anonymous tip was given directly to Knauber, who then alerted school officials.
He said the issue was brought to everybody’s attention April 21, the Monday after Easter. Howard said it was his understanding that Knauber brought campus police into Broussard’s office and directed them to the exact location of the paraphernalia.
Knauber on Friday did not return a phone call from the Journal seeking comment.
A phone message was left Friday with Broussard. Howard said the coach is out of the state and will not comment on his situation.
“We want to be careful to let this investigation take its course before (Alvin) makes any statements,” Howard said, “and be able to have tangible items in our hands to substantiate some of the allegations.
“Alvin is under a great deal of stress,” said Howard, who said he grew up with Broussard. “He wants to be clear that he’s done nothing wrong. It’s an attack on his reputation to even have his name associated with something like this.”
Broussard was hired to replace Adrian Ortega at Sandia after the 2007-08 season. Broussard played briefly at the University of New Mexico before transferring to the University of San Francisco.
Ortega – who is now athletic director and boys basketball coach at Atrisco Heritage High School – had a terrible fallout with Knauber in 2008.
“There were a lot of vague, untrue allegations aimed at me by the athletic director at Sandia (Knauber) while I was there, and in my opinion, it ultimately led to my dismissal as coach,” Ortega told the Journal on Friday.
He would not specify the allegations, saying only they occurred primarily in the last season he coached the Matadors.
“This (current situation at Sandia) brings up a lot of bad, negative feelings,” Ortega said. “I support Alvin Broussard.”