The way LSU head coach Les Miles weaseled his way into getting star running back Jeremy Hill on his team again was disgusting and he should have been called out for it. However, the man who did the honors recently added a big scratch to his otherwise flawless track record, so the timing he chose to make the criticism wasn’t exactly perfect. TCU head coach Gary Patterson called out Miles for allowing his players to vote Hill back on the team after the running back violated his probation that stemmed from a sex-related crime and battery charges. Miles is definitely a coward for the way he handled Hill, but Patterson is no longer in a place to judge.
TCU is a program that has been long respected by the collegiate sports world for its academic and athletic excellence, to coin the age-old terms, but the Horned Frogs have also held a high standard for character and discipline since even before the days of Bob Lilly and other legends who have gone through Fort Worth. However, that’s recently changed.
A problem with substance abuse on the TCU campus is growing, especially among the student-athletes and it culminated with star quarterback Casey Pachall missing the majority of his junior season after a DWI arrest in October. Naturally, the then-undefeated Horned Frogs’ season quickly took a turn for the worse but the team rallied around freshman quarterback Trevone Boykin as the season wore on. Now after supposedly completing an extensive rehab program, Pachall is back with the team as the starting quarterback. Put simply, that’s not the way TCU does things, so it’s apparent that winning is now more of a priority in Forth Worth than it was before the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12, which wasn’t the case prior to that move.
So why Patterson thinks he’s in a place to judge Miles is intriguing. TCU star pass-rusher Devonte Fields has been suspended for the first two games of the upcoming season for violating a team rule and Patterson somehow thinks that gives him ground to call out Miles, but his words should already be eaten:
“My whole team would vote Devonte to be back on the team because they all want to win. That doesn’t teach life lessons.”
While Patterson has done a good job of teaching life lessons to his players for the majority of his 13-year tenure as TCU’s head coach, he’s taken a huge step backward in the past 10 months. Quite frankly, his handling of Pachall goes against everything Patterson and the Horned Frogs stand for; it’s great that Pachall was put through the rehab program and recent reports suggest the young passer has changed his ways but allowing him to simply return to his starting role as if nothing happened is almost the same thing as Miles allowing a trouble-maker like Hill to return to LSU.
As a big-time TCU supporter, it’s hard to criticize Patterson like this, but he simply has no place to publicly blast Miles after his handling of Pachall. Allowing the quarterback to return to the team doesn’t teach the player any life lessons either and it’s unfair to Boykin and the rest of the players who had to keep playing in 2012 despite their leader’s absence. Even if Patterson never sees the mistake he’s made with Pachall, hopefully he’ll turn back to his character-first ways because of Miles. That would be the silver lining here for TCU.
Oh, and the Horned Frogs open their season against the Tigers at AT&T Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium) on Aug. 31. Don’t expect a friendly handshake between the two coaches.