TCU, Drugs and the Recruiting Fallout

By Chris Hengst

TCU expected their recruiting stock to rise exponentially with the move to the Big 12. The drug scandal has the potential to send the Horned Frog brand crashing down.

What’s quickly becoming clear is that Gary Patterson was unaware of a widespread and systemic problem within his own locker room. College students smoking weed isn’t a shocker to anyone with the sanctimonious filter turned off but selling drugs blurs the line.

And no matter the number of surprise tests, Patterson allegedly needed a recruit to let him in on the depth of the problem.

Head coaches can’t be responsible for 85 scholarship players every minute of every hour but part of recruiting is selling that mantra to parents.

In many cases, it’s convincing mom and dad that procures a commitment rather than the recruit himself.

Parents want to hear that a coaching staff will look after their son for four years, keep him out of trouble, improve his chances of getting drafted and push him to graduate.

The Big 12 opens doors to a veritable gold mine for TCU football. No longer would Patterson have to rely on coaching up unheralded players, he has the ability to walk into the living rooms and sell playing road games at Austin or Norman or Stillwater.

That’s a bit more convenient for those same parents doing the interrogation than having to admit the biggest game on the Mountain West schedule occurs in Boise, Idaho.

But if Devin Johnson is close to correct and a majority of players failed the Signing Day drug test (Horned Frogs defensive back Kolby Griffin called the rumor “completely false” on Twitter), negative recruiting is about to explode around Fort Worth.

Opposing coaches will point to the failure of the entire staff to recognize the enormity of a drug problem and whether or not Patterson is fit to act as a stand-in father for the 85 players he oversees.

2012 offered untapped potential for TCU on the gridiron. Oklahoma is the favorite to win the conference but West Virginia and their fellow new Big 12 counterpart were both dark horses. Losing starters on defense hurts any team but at TCU, where the depth isn’t the same as Oklahoma or Texas, those expulsions are the difference between BCS hopes and the Insight Bowl.

And even though Signing Day just happened, 2013 recruits are already committing. This cesspool of drug-dealing will spill into living rooms of high school seniors hoping to snag a roster spot in the Big 12.

Tyrone Swoopes is a 5-star quarterback who had been rumored to have Texas and TCU at the top of his list.

Think today’s events might come up in the next phone call from Longhorn coaches?

Recruiting is a dirty game and the easiest way to see a school thrown in the mud is to give rivals the ammunition.

Gary Patterson isn’t solely responsible for the drug-dealers on his team but Big 12 coaches only have to convince the parents of a recruit that he is.

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