The TCU Horned Frogs made national headlines on Feb. 15 when four members of the football team were among multiple arrests as a result of a drug sting. This is the sort of scandal that college athletic departments dread, as the public is not quick to forget this sort of thing. Potential recruiting prospects and their families, even less so. But because of the way the school handled the drug bust and its aftermath, some observers are confident that this will not badly impact the school in the long term.
Jimmy Burch of the Star-Telegram reports that Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, feels the situation will "pass by" in due time.
"Not to downplay what took place, because this is really going to hurt," Teaff said. "But this is a different type of situation. Most situations where negative things happen, it involves the NCAA and those coaches are gone. One thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is... TCU has quality leadership. I know Gary Patterson will handle this in the proper way. I know the kind of man he is. TCU will come through this and do it the right way."
Likewise, author and TCU alumnus Dan Jenkins feels that the Horned Frogs' exclusion from the Big 12 was a far bigger stigma and hurdle to overcome, but TCU did that in spades by winning the Rose Bowl in 2011.
"Being left out of the Big 12 at the end of the SWC was like being told you're a second-class citizen," Jenkins said. "This is embarrassing. But that was a whole lot worse.... It was a long way to get back, but it was fun the way that we did it. You can't take the Rose Bowl away from us. And I don't think a team filled with a bunch of guys smoking pot could've won that game. Show me a [college] football team that doesn't have someone who smokes pot. You can't do it."
Time will tell whether Teaff and Jenkins will be proven correct, but no one can argue that the TCU administration did not handle this scandal as well as could be hoped.
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