It's been roughly a week since the details of a six-month investigation into drug rings in and around the TCU campus in Fort Worth became a national headline, snaring the Horned Frog football program with the involvement of four players arrested for the sale of illegal narcotics.
The Associated Press spoke to the National Center For Drug Free Sports, who called the use of marijuana among NCAA student athletes an "epidemic:"
"We can sit here and say marijuana is no big deal," he said. "But in (athletes') situations, it is a big deal. If they're willing to throw away $200,000 of their education because of a blunt or a bong, let's be honest, something's not right there."
The Austin American-Statesman lauded the actions of TCU officials in operating quickly and openly to cooperate with police:
I can't think of another school that would hold a news conference on the same day of a drug sting, take questions, and appear to have cooperated so fully with police. That kind of transparency goes a long way toward rebuilding trust within the community.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Mac Engel doesn't fault the administration or coaches for the arrest of four players, but for pushing TCU as a "pristine" program in the first place:
Where TCU screwed up, 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.
We know the linebacking corps was thin before Tanner Brock dealt it a blow (double pun intended). Incoming freshman A.J. Hilliard had better be ready to play from day one. I'd say it's now very likely James MacFarland will play linebacker instead of defensive end. Might LaDarius Brown make a switch to the defense? At 6-4, 220 pounds, he's got the body for it, probably.
The intrigue for spring ball is suddenly heightened, as it will be our first chance to begin seeing the answers to these questions.