- David Ubben, College Football
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TCU has done its part to distance itself from an offseason drug scandal, which resulted in four players being removed from the team. They were among 15 TCU students who were arrested in a campus-wide drug bust, including damning police affidavits that featured hand-to-hand deals with undercover police.
TCU quarterback Casey Pachall wasn't one of the players arrested in the sting, but his roommate, Tanner Brock, was. During the sting, Pachall told police he had used drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy, but never witnessed any transactions involving Brock.
TCU360 first reported the comments, which were acquired via an open records request.
In the wake of the original report, TCU coach Gary Patterson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Pachall had indeed failed a drug test, but did so only once. He would not be disciplined for the failed test, which came on Feb. 1, and Patterson noted that Pachall passed 24 other drug tests that had been administered, including six since the failed test in February.
"We followed every proper procedure the university has in place with a failed drug test," (Patterson said).
By definition, Gary is absolutely, 100 percent correct. Both he and the school did act within the pre-established guidelines in regards to Pachall's off-the-field behavior.
One failed drug test, by TCU standards, means, according to the TCU Student Handbook, section 3.2.10 Drugs, "a. failing a non-incident motivated drug screen one time will result in mandatory drug education counseling and/or required drug treatment."
On Sunday, Pachall took to the podium to address the media, apologizing for "mistakes" but not taking any questions from the media.
That transparency, or something close to it anyway, is appreciated, and ultimately, the right move.
It's one drug test from one player -- at least that we know of. Ultimately, Pachall's far from the first, last or only college quarterback who would have failed a drug test since the end of the season.
Pachall sounded like he had moved past the drug use in an interview with the Star-Telegram during Big 12 Media Days.
"I regret a lot of that stuff, but I have learned from it. I know what is a stupid decision, and to not go around or attempt to be around [stupid decisions]," Pachall told the paper. "The scrutiny and the crap that comes along with that, that is the part I do regret."
Ultimately, Pachall's future drug tests will show whether or not he's serious. What we already know for sure? When it comes to drug use, TCU is playing by different, much more strict rules in the wake of the offseason scandal.
That's fair. TCU put itself in that position. What would barely register on the Richter scale at another school is going to be a much bigger deal at TCU, perceived as evidence that the cleanup from an ugly scandal is still incomplete.
That's life when four players on your team are arrested on suspicion of dealing drugs.
TCU is still going to have to deal with it, and fact is, it's going to be some time before TCU doesn't have to continually prove its program has truly moved past the drug issues that surfaced this spring.
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