Last Wednesday, 18 students were arrested on and around the Texas Christian University campus on the suspicion of selling and dealing drugs. School officials reported that four of those arrested were members of the TCU football team.
Junior defensive tackle D.J. Yendrey, junior defensive back Devin Johnson, junior linebacker Tanner Brock and sophomore offensive tackle Tyler horn were dismissed from the football team and arrested for selling marijuana to undercover cops. It was part of a campus-wide investigation that began in November of 2011.
The problem is bigger than the four arrests, according to Brock, who said the entire football program should be worried after head coach Gary Patterson surprised his team with a random drug test Feb. 1. “Yeah, they caught us slipping,” Brock said to an undercover cop, adding that there “would be about 60 people being screwed.” Johnson went even further, telling the cop that 82 people probably failed it. Horn said that “only 20 people [players on roster] could pass the [drug] test.”
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, however, only five players tested positive for marijuana from that random screening. Another 11 players had traces of marijuana in their systems, and marijuana was the drug was the only one detected in the tests. Overall, 86 players tested clean.
The next question must be what this means for the football team’s future. All of TCU’s sports will move to the Big 12 Conference on July 1, which causes the Horned Frogs’ athletics program to be scrutinized and covered by the media on a bigger stage like that of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas – all storied college sports programs.
How will Texas Christian University respond after such a traumatic incident? This is a football team that is a year removed of a perfect undefeated season ending with a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin. With the conference change, TCU’s next step could be an undefeated regular season with an opportunity to compete for a national championship opportunity. But first, the program must recover from a scandal that is sure to haunt the school for years to come.
The drug bust is just the latest scandal in college athletics. We’re just weeks removed from Joe Paterno’s death, and there is an ongoing investigation regarding the sex abuse scandal at Penn State involving Jerry Sandusky. In August, Miami (FL) booster Nevin Shapiro was arrested for providing improper benefits to football and men’s basketball players. The list goes on.