Pachall’s cocaine confession, not drug test failure, should draw greatest concern


    Buried toward the bottom of Tanner Brock’s Feb. 15 arrest report was the detailed account of the former TCU linebacker’s interview with police shortly after being taken into custody.

    According to the report, Brock confessed to selling drugs but assured police it wasn’t for money or popularity. He said he sold mainly to friends, working mostly out of his house, south of campus. Brock also admitted he sometimes smoked with clients as they sat around and watched Tosh.0. He even talked about how much he sold the weed for, saying his sales never exceeded $700. It was “a big TCU thing,” he said.

    Then, as the officers escorted him out of the room, Brock held up the TCU expulsion letter in his hand and seemed to realize just how much he cost himself.

    “Talking about $700,” he said, according to the report. “This is about 100 million right here.”

    As hyperbolic as that sounds, it might not have been too far from the truth. Brock would have been TCU’s best player this fall, and in two more years likely would have set himself up for a low-round NFL draft selection and all the dollars that come along with it.

    The same could be said for Casey Pachall, the Frogs’ starting quarterback who could emerge as a Heisman contender this year and a possible first-round draft pick in 2014.

    But the same could also be said for Pachall in regard to him losing everything Brock did.

    Of course, the reasons wouldn’t be identical – not once has there been any indication Pachall sold anything – but if the details that arose from Brock’s arrest told us one thing, it’s that Pachall’s actions could have been equally self-destructive.

    According to that same arrest report, Pachall, Brock’s roommate at that time, was questioned by police and admitted to failing a recent team-issued drug test. He also said he’d previously tried both cocaine and ecstasy one time each.

    Naturally, there’s been loads of opinions tossed across the Internet since the report broke Friday afternoon. Most of them have centered on protecting the reputation of the university, on protecting the reputation of Gary Patterson and on protecting the reputation of the football program as a whole, which seems to have gotten five years worth of bad press crammed into the last six months.

    If message board chatter is any indication, the majority of TCU fans feel like Pachall admitting to failing a drug test, likely from a positive test of marijuana, is a non-story.  

    I get that. I doubt anyone is naïve enough to think Pachall was the first college student to smoke a little weed.

    Still, the circumstances of the drug test admission (his roommate was being arrested on felony drug charges) and his status on the team (starting quarterback), can’t go unnoticed. Pachall knows that. He knows he lives under a microscope.

    But again, it’s hard to be shocked that Frog fans are mad their team is getting some negative press over a simple positive marijuana test.

    Besides, the argument for legalizing weed has always been the drug’s minimal amount of health problems. It’s not addictive (technically), and no one has ever overdosed on a blunt.

    It is a bit disturbing, however, that Pachall’s unforced admission to using two lethal drugs has seemed to be forgotten amongst those outraged over the reputation of both him and the university being dragged through the mud.

    Cocaine isn’t marijuana. Neither is ecstasy. There’s nothing innocent or benign or mellow about either one.

    Cocaine didn’t just end Len Bias’ basketball career or cost him a spot with the Celtics. It killed him. And all it took were a few late-night snorts off a dorm room mirror.

    Isn’t it a bit troubling that Pachall had access to those drugs in the first place? How many other TCU students have had that same kind of access?

    How many have tried cocaine or ecstasy or any other high-end narcotic just once? How many have tried it more than once?

    Pachall shouldn’t be suspended for failing the February drug test. It was a first-time offense, and, as Patterson said Friday, the program was well aware of the situation months ago. It likely has already been taken care of.

    But what about Pachall’s brief brush with cocaine and ecstasy? Patterson made no indication through his statement he was aware of those particulars until they were released Friday.

    Has that been taken care of, too? Will it?

    For the sake of more than just winning football games or protecting a reputation, let’s hope so.