Over a dozen students from TCU are in big trouble after an undercover investigation for drugs came to completion. A total of 18 people, 4 of them football players, were arrested last week on drug charges.
The investigation has been going on for 6 months, and in that time undercover officers gained much information from students about the widespread drug use at the school. Of the 18 people arrested, 15 are students, and these individuals were caught making sales of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, and prescription drugs to undercover officers.
Football coach Gary Patterson may have suspected that something was going on with his players, because he issued an unannounced drug test to his whole team on February 1. Reports say Patterson was inspired to give the drug test after a top recruit turned down the offer to play for him because of all the drug use by players at the school. The surprise drug test may have provided Patterson with more information then he had hoped, however, as between 60 and 80 players reportedly failed the test. (1)
The TCU athletic department is now left with at least 4 of their players facing consequences because of the bust, and many other students are also facing charges. The whole TCU campus, which is known for its quality academics, is shocked. Its Academic Progress Rate score of 972 was fourth among the Top 25 schools in the final 2010 BCS standings. The American Football Coaches Association has recognized TCU for its high graduation rates for four consecutive years. All but one of TCU’s 19 seniors on the 2011 roster have already earned his degree or is on track to graduate by May. Last year, TCU was highlighted in a “Sports Illustrated” article as the only Top 25 football team in 2010 with no players on its roster with criminal records. (1)
Still, some have denied that this bust exposes a problem with the TCU athletic department. “I don’t think it’s a football problem,” Chancellor Victor Boschini said. (2)
Coach Patterson may be down a few players right now, but he feels strongly about the need to keep his team clean and sober. “As I heard the news this morning, I was first shocked, then hurt, and now I am mad,” Patterson said. “Under my watch, drugs and drug use by TCU’s student-athletes will not be tolerated by me or any member of my coaching staff. Our program is respected nationally for its strong ethics and for that reason the players arrested today were separated from TCU by the University. I believe strongly that young people’s lives are more important than wins or losses.” (1)