TCU trouble not really unexpected

February 19, 2012


While news vans have been driving around TCU’s campus in wake of the Great Drug Scandal of 2012, the vast majority of people around University Drive carry on as if nothing happened.

The coaches of the other teams at TCU have met with their respective kids to remind them, basically, “Don’t be stupid.”

A lot of my media brethren have described a football culture that exists at TCU of “entitled” players. Because before this “scandal,” the last word I ever associated with a wealthy private school such as TCU is “entitled,” “enabled” or “indulged.”

I am sincerely honored to teach a class at TCU, and the reaction from one student was, “I just always figured this goes on at every Division I football team.”

The rumor mill was nearly broken that night as stories of “The pot came from Pakistan” to “They’re calling us Texas Cocaine University” and “Gary Patterson will be fired over this.”

Marijuana consumption has become akin to speeding; you’re not supposed to do it, yet the highway is full of drivers clocking 80.

The student’s surprise was because guys on scholarship with something to lose took the risk of dealing for what appears to be a few hundred bucks.

Did TCU overreact, as colleague Bud Kennedy suggested in this paper on Friday? Maybe. This is not the Medellin Cartel here. But given how Ohio State, Penn State and other places underreacted to their scandals, this day and age might require more overreaction with a dash of prejudice.

Where TCU failed, and this starts with Gary Patterson, was in advertising and selling the program as clean and pristine — that it did things “the right way.”

When it comes to records, other than win/loss, keep quiet about your clean slate because you never know when that call is coming. Don’t advertise that you know everything about every one of your kids, because you don’t and because it’s impossible.

Situations like this are part of the deal you make when you want to be big time. Stay at a place long enough and the 2 a.m. call always comes. It’s math.

GP has been the head coach of what is now a consistent Top 25 Division I college football program with an annual roster of approximately 100 kids. Multiply that by how long GP has been the head coach, since 2000, and the odds decrease annually of TCU remaining clean and pristine. At some point, eventually, a young college kid (or several) was going to do something stupid, and the frog was going to get a little muddy with the law, the NCAA or both.


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