With an announcement slated for Tuesday on the suspension status of TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Casey Pachall, the waiting may be done but the whispering isn’t. Gary Patterson’s media luncheon can’t be very enjoyable in 2012 as the head coach has been inundated with injuries, drug scandals, DWI’s and eligibility issues. It’s hard to chomp down a sandwich and play around with Fort Worth media when police reports take precedence over depth charts.
Still, this public appearance figures to be the most trying of Patterson’s early Big 12 tenure as he confirms a defined suspension, reinstates his quarterback or kicks him off the team.
What’s garnered my interest though is the time frame. Pachall’s failed a drug test, lived with one of the ousted Horned Frogs (Tanner Brock) in the drug bust and now been booked for DWI. If he wasn’t playing the most important position on the field, those setbacks seem turn-in-your-helmet-worthy. And if he returns to the practice field, the TCU faithful should ready themselves for a flurry of national columns about Patterson losing his morals in a more difficult conference.
But again, the head coach has had days to mull over a punishment. Did he propose one to his athletic director that was rejected or not approved by university officials? Is this Patterson’s choice anymore?
Judging by the reveal tomorrow, we’ll have a solid handle on who made the decision. If Pachall is suspended for a certain number of games, the head coach prevailed. If he’s suspended for the rest of the year or booted from the football program, that’s an administrator’s call.
I believe that because had Patterson decided to end Pachall’s career, he’d have already done so. And further, if this controversy is solved above his pay grade, what of the rift created between Chris Del Conte (AD) or Dr. Victor J. Boschini, Jr. (Chancellor) and the head coach?
It’s not far-fetched to think that if Patterson’s penalty directive is ignored, he might look at finding athletic offices that lend him more, if not authoritarian support. Losing his starting quarterback, a sophomore with plenty of promise, could lead to a 5-7 or 6-6 campaign and coupled with the other off-field issues, murder recruiting momentum. There’s plenty at stake here for TCU even if the Big 12 transition is just beginning.
Perhaps the waiting is all a game of cunning coaching and giving the Baylor Bears one less day of film study on either Trevone Boykin or Matt Brown. There’s a decent chance the decision-makers in Fort Worth simply needed to be on the same page considering the tumult recently in the behavior of football players.
If chain-of-command disagreements preceded Tuesday’s sentencing of Casey Pachall though, TCU and Gary Patterson might be drifting apart.