TCU Football 2012: Gary Patterson Makes the Smart Decision with Casey Pachall

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterAugust 6, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 28:  Casey Pachall #4 of the TCU Horned Frogs throws during a game against the BYU Cougars at Cowboys Stadium on October 28, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

We're now several months removed from the scandal that swirled around TCU in February, when four players were among the students arrested in a drug sting.

However, the hits have not stopped for the program, as recently it was revealed that quarterback Casey Pachall failed a February drug test. TCU 360 reported the news August third:

Pachall told police in an interview on Feb. 15 that he had failed a recent student-athlete drug test. The police came to Pachall’s residence looking for his roommate, TCU football player Tanner Brock, who admittedly sold marijuana to an undercover police officer.

Also from TCU 360, Gary Patterson is, and apparently was, well aware of Pachall's failure:

"We were aware of Casey testing positive on Feb. 1. I have always taken a very strong stand for student-athlete health and welfare. We have policies and educational programs in place to help guide our student-athletes. We are committed to helping them make healthy choices and have moved forward. We have had 25 drug tests in the last 18 months, including one by the NCAA at the Rose Bowl. We've had six drug tests since February."

Patterson is aware that his starting quarterback failed a drug test, and according to the TCU Student Athlete Handbook, the only way that Pachall could escape "discipline" that would suit most fans is if this was his first offense. So, we'll give the quarterback, and more importantly TCU and Gary Patterson, the benefit of the doubt and call this his first offense. 

By making it his first offense, TCU avoids the egg on the face that would result in folks reading Gary Patterson's hard-line stance from February and knowing it was wholly untrue because, as he gave that statement, his quarterback was one of the players busted for a failed drug test and he sat by and did nothing.

TCU, and Gary Patterson, have made the smart play. They keep their starting quarterback suspension-free, as USA Today reported Saturday. They keep the head coach's reputation, it was, after all, a first offense and they went by the book. They keep the school's values and practices in check, as education and student welfare help guide their students and student-athletes. 

Well played Horned Frogs. You are most certainly ready to step up to the major college football level.