Texas Christian University has chosen to get ahead of a potential crisis caused by the news that 15 of its students were arrested for dealing illegal drugs.
TCU held a press conference on Feb. 15 revealing to students, faculty and the media the results of an undercover police operation that found university students selling drugs at fraternity houses and other campus locations—including some that were hand-to-hand purchases, according to the Star-Telegram. Of the 15 students arrested, four were football players in the school’s renowned Division I football program. It is the same program that Sports Illustrated highlighted in 2011 as the only top 25 football team in 2010 that did not have a single player on its roster with a criminal record. In fact, TCU was only one of two schools within the 2010 college football top 25, along with Oklahoma, that performs regular criminal background checks on their recruits.
When the news came to light, TCU’s head football coach Gary Patterson released a statement, saying, “Under my watch, drugs and drug use by TCU’s student-athletes will not be tolerated by me or any member of my coaching staff. Period. Our program is respected nationally for its strong ethics and for that reason the players arrested today were separated from TCU by the university.”
Instead of moving slowly and potentially letting the story get too big to handle, TCU decided act swiftly, take the lead and become the agents of information. It was an act of transparency and, as evident by Patterson’s comments, integrity—the lack of which just recently had Penn State reeling amid its own scandal.
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