TCU quarterback Casey Pachall just made old problems new again for the Horned Frogs.
Prior to the start of fall camp Sunday, Pachall read a statement to media apologizing for his actions after TCU360.com and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Pachall admitted to a Fort Worth police officer that he has smoked marijuana and failed a drug test. Pachall also admitted to taking ecstasy and cocaine in the past but said, "Both were just a one-time thing and [he] hasn't done either since."
The kicker? Pachall, who threw for a school-record 2,921 yards last season, was never suspended for his actions and won't face any discipline from the athletic department.
"We were aware of Casey testing positive on Feb. 1," TCU coach Gary Patterson told the Star-Telegram in an emailed statement Friday. "I have always taken a very strong stand on student-athlete health and welfare. We have policies and educational programs in place to help guide our student-athletes. We are committed to helping them make healthy choices and have moved forward. We have had 25 drug tests in the last 18 months, including one by the NCAA at the Rose Bowl. We've had six drug tests since February."
Patterson said Pachall had completed drug and alcohol counseling mandated by the university and that no further action would be taken.
The news about Pachall comes as TCU is trying to move past a drug scandal that marred what should have been a joyous offseason as the university transitions from the Mountain West to the Big 12.
On Feb. 15, four football players were arrested in connection with a campus-wide drug ring. Among those was linebacker Tanner Brock, who was roommates with Pachall. Brock, D.J. Yendrey, Devin Johnson and Ty Horn all were arrested and received probation after pleading guilty to marijuana delivery charges. All four were kicked off the team. Pachall was detained, but released.
"I know I'm not perfect," Pachall said Sunday. "But I've learned from those mistakes and I'm still learning. It's a day-to-day process for me of trying to be a better person."
Patterson said while Pachall was not suspended, he was internally disciplined and will face rigorous drug testing in the future.
"Just because he didn't receive additional punishment doesn't mean we think it's acceptable," Patterson said. "It's not. And Casey knows that. He'll continue to get tested and knows how serious this is.
"We can't have him as the face of the football program. There's a responsibility that goes with that and so he can't do it."
Still, this continues to raise questions about drug use within the TCU program and just how deep it went before the university and Patterson decided to step up their testing regimen. When the police busted the drug ring and football players were arrested, all eyes focused on the football program after those arrested players alleged as many as 82 players on the roster had failed drug tests. That number turned out to be false, but it caused Patterson to have to administer drug tests throughout the offseason, something he hadn't done in the past.
Pachall is a star on a team that needs a star as it embarks on its first season in the Big 12, which definitely makes you wonder if he was given preferential treatment because of his star status and because the university was able to keep his involvement with drugs under wraps for the past six months. But on other teams, even the best players are at least forced to sit out a game for failing a drug test. The lack of on-field action taken against Pachall will just draw more criticism toward Patterson and TCU and keep the focus on the negative instead of the positive.