The TCU football program is attempting to put the past behind it after four players were arrested in a drug investigation last week.
Tanner Brock, D.J. Yendrey, Devin Johnson and Ty Horn were removed from the roster and separated from the university Feb. 15. Replacing those players and overcoming the negative perception hovering over TCU is now the main goal of the program.
With uncertainty surrounding the number of players who tested positive on the random drug test on Feb. 1, Chancellor Victor Boschini said the number of players is not important.
“If one did [fail], I think it’s a big concern,” he said. “I think people are focused on these numbers for a wrong reason, but that’s just my opinion.”
He said he does not think the Athletics Department should change its policy on random drug testing because it has a good program in place.
Jeremy Clark, the publisher of HornedFrogBlitz.com and who covers TCU football and recruiting, said the administration and the Athletics Department handled the situation the best way it could — quickly.
He said the key to moving forward swiftly is spring football practice, which started last Friday. He said he believed playing football and working hard are the best ways for the program to put the arrests behind it.
Although the team lost three potential starters and another who had significant playing time in 2011, Clark said he believes the underclassmen on the team have the ability to step up and make an impact.
“The seven years I have been covering the team, this is the deepest I’ve ever seen them at any position — quarterback, receivers, offense, defense,” Clark said. “They’ve got a lot of loaded weapons on both sides of the ball. I think they’re going to be fine with the guys they lost.”
Arlington Martin High School head football coach Bob Wager has spent plenty of time with TCU head football coach Gary Patterson since four of his football players have been a part of the football program. He said his relationship with Patterson has been a positive one and that he considers Patterson to be a “class” individual.
Wager said he did not believe the drug arrests will have much of an impact on recruiting.
“Certainly from a Martin High School standpoint we hold TCU in the highest regard,” Wager said. “Again, it is an unfortunate situation, but I don’t think it will have a profound, lasting impact whatsoever.”
Clark said he spoke with multiple high school football coaches in North Texas who echo Wager’s sentiments.
“[Coaches] know Gary Patterson is a class guy,” he said. “He runs a class program. The guys that talked to me said they are still going to send their players over to TCU and get them to look at it. I think in the long run, I think they’ll be fine.”
The positives of sending a player to play for the Horned Frogs are much more important than the implications of this situation, Wager said.
“Obviously for us to have an opportunity to have our players to go 15 minutes down the road and get a world-class education, play championship football and still be close enough to where we can still go and watch them [is important],” Wager said. “And those guys will come back periodically and be around our younger players. It’s been fantastic.”