While TCU has suspended starting quarterback Casey Pachall following yet another substance abuse issue, the Horned Frogs are leaving the door open for a possible return next season if Pachall can complete his voluntary inpatient rehabilitation program that he enrolled in that could last somewhere between 30-60 days. Pachall has left TCU for the rest of the semester while he tries to straighten out his life off the field.
“Hopefully, what our plan is that he [Pachall] gets himself right and keeps the door open for us as far as an opportunity for him to be able to come back here and enroll in the spring,” TCU head coach Gary Patterson said. “He would be able to graduate in two semesters, which is the ultimate goal for us. Also, we’d get a great kid and also a good quarterback back.”
The Horned Frogs had no choice but to suspend Pachall indefinitely after learning of his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving, which was his second run-in with the law in the past eight months. He admitted to smoking marijuana and failed a test administered by the team following the drug sting that busted three other TCU football players and some students.
Patterson spoke with Pachall’s parents and agreed this was the only course of action that could truly help the troubled quarterback.
“There was only one way he was going to change the path that he was on,” Patterson said. “And that was he just needed to step away from it all. I think it’s the best decision for this football team and Casey Pachall.”
Either way, it will still be a long road back for Pachall if he is able to return to TCU. After his failed drug test eight months ago, Pachall did complete drug and alcohol counseling mandated by the university. He will have to complete another program to prove that he deserves another chance. If he can, then Patterson and the Horned Frogs will be more than happy to welcome him back with open arms.
This loss will also be difficult for the TCU football team. After getting off to a 4-0 start that had them ranked No. 15 entering this past weekend, the Horned Frogs suffered their first defeat with Pachall suspended. Through the first four games that all resulted in wins for TCU, Pachall had completed 64 of 97 passes for 948 yards with 10 touchdowns.
But in the team’s first loss to the Iowa State Cyclones in a Big 12 conference game, freshman quarterback Trevone Boykin started and threw three interceptions in the 37-23 loss for TCU. Unfortunately for them, the schedule is only going to get much more difficult.
Following a tough game on the road against the Baylor Bears on Saturday, TCU will return for a home matchup against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. It is conceivable that they could still win at least one of those games, even without Pachall.
But after those two games, TCU finishes up with their final five games against teams who have either been ranked or are currently ranked in the Top 25, including the Oklahoma State Cowboys, West Virginia Mountaineers, Kansas State Wildcats, Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners.
In fact, the overall combined records of their final seven opponents is an impressive 26-6.
So although TCU may still be 4-1 right now, there is a very good chance that they will not win enough of their remaining games to put themselves in a position to become bowl eligible. Without their top quarterback, it will be extremely difficult for the Horned Frogs to make it back to another bowl game.
Of course, that is not their main focus or concern right now.