Houde out of tournament following marijuana arrest
After police found what they say was approximately a pound-and-a-half of marijuana in his car, Wareham basketball standout Jeff Houde is off the team and out of the state tournament.
He was arraigned in Wareham District Court Monday, Feb. 25, on a charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Houde was released on personal recognizance.
"Following school and MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association) policy and rules, Jeff is no longer able to participate on the team," Vikings coach Kevin Brogioli confirmed Thursday.
According to court records:
Houde, 17, was pulled over for speeding on Saturday, Feb. 23. The police officer making the stop observed Houde leaning over toward the passenger's seat. Unsure of what he was reaching for, the officer asked him to step out of the car.
The officer patted Houde down for weapons and, after finding none, did a "pat-frisk" on the outside of a backpack sitting on the passenger's seat.
The officer felt a hard object and, suspecting a weapon, opened the backpack -- where he discovered a digital scale (the hard object) and three bags of marijuana, weighing approximately a pound-and-a-half.
Searching the car, police reported finding a BB gun under the passenger's seat.
Asked to comment, principal Scott Palladino said via e-mail: "I can't comment on student discipline other than to say all students are disciplined in accordance to the Wareham High School Handbook."
Brogioli has coached Houde for four years and was disheartened by news of his arrest.
"It's unfortunate, but kids don't always make good choices. . . I just hope he does the right thing going forward," said Brogioli.
The coach said that, with one of the team's star players now disqualified, others have been stepping up to the plate.
"There are things that Jeff brought as a basketball player on the court that are going to be hard to replace," said Brogioli. "Through a combination of players and being a team," they hope to compensate for Houde's absence on the court.