It is easy to say that TCU’s football program has not succeeded in the Big 12 because the league offers a level of competition not found in the Horned Frogs’ previous home, the Mountain West Conference. (The school joined the Big East, of course, but never played a game in that league.)
To an extent, that statement is true, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. TCU players have continuously gotten into trouble or have moved away from football. Former quarterback Casey Pachall had to repair his life in order to subdue the demon of alcoholism. His career at TCU suffered as a (necessary) result. Pachall has happily found a place in the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts, but his TCU career wasn’t everything it could have been. These are the kinds of things that have held back the Horned Frogs. TCU head coach Gary Patterson hasn’t been able to catch a break.
Now comes this report on TCU defensive end Devonte Fields, a player on all sorts of watch lists and an expected centerpiece of the Horned Frogs’ entire roster in 2014. If any part of this story is true, Fields should be off the field this season. If that turns out to be the case, yet another TCU season in the Big 12 will take a huge hit before it runs its course.