TCU clearly missed suspended quarterback Casey Pachall Saturday in its first defeat of the season, a turnover-marred, 37-23 loss to Iowa State, and help is not on the way. According to coach Gary Patterson, Pachall has withdrawn from the university and plans to enter a drug and alcohol treatment facility on the heels of an Oct. 4 arrest for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He won't play again this season, and his future beyond 2012 is uncertain.
"We want to make sure we can make this turn into a positive," Patterson said Tuesday at a weekly media luncheon. "Casey's parents, Casey and I, we all agreed that there was only one way to change the path he was on -- to step away from it."
According to Fort Worth police, Pachall, 21, was pulled over near TCU's campus shortly before 1 a.m. last Thursday for running a stop sign. He subsequently registered a blood-alcohol concentration of greater than .15, nearly twice the legal limit in Texas, and was charged with driving while intoxicated. Patterson announced in a brief statement later that day that Pachall had been suspended indefinitely.
In February, police arrested Pachall's then-roommate, All-Mountain West linebacker Tanner Brock, as part of a campus-wide drug bust that resulted in the arrests of 17 TCU students and four football players: Brock, center Tyler Horn, defensive back Devin Johnson and defensive lineman D.J. Yendrey. During a bust at the residence he shared with Brock, Pachall reportedly told police on Feb. 15 that he had recently failed a university-administered drug test and had smoked marijuana within the past week or two of that night. According to a police report first obtained by a student-run website, TCU360.com, Pachall also admitted to using cocaine and ecstasy within the past year but maintained "both were just a one-time thing and [he] hasn't done either since."
"Due to Casey being a student athlete at TCU I asked if they receive any drug test," an officer wrote in the report. "Casey replied they do and that he failed their most recent one which was right after he had smoked marijuana last. Casey stated that he smoked marijuana maybe a day or two prior to the test."
Pachall was not arrested or charged in that incident. As for his teammates: Brock was sentenced to four years' probation, while Yendrey and Horn each received three years. Devin Johnson pleaded guilty in August to three charges of delivery of marijuana and received three years' deferred adjudication probation. All four were dismissed from the team.
Through the first month of the season, Pachall ranked fifth nationally in pass efficiency with 948 yards and 10 touchdown passes to only one interception. In 2011, he was a second-team All-Mountain West pick after accounting for 2,921 yards and 25 touchdowns. In Pachall's absence last weekend, redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin was picked off three times in his first career start -- the third one was returned by Iowa State for a clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter. (On top of the interceptions, TCU also lost two fumbles by freshman tailback B.J. Catalon, who was seeing the first significant action of his career due to mounting injuries attrition at that position. Before Pachall's suspension, coaches had planned to use Boykin as a running back, as well.) Now, it appears Boykin is the de facto starter for the final seven games.
If Pachall returns to the team in 2013, it will be as a fifth-year senior with one year of eligibility remaining.