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For TCU, putting Casey Pachall in 'timeout' feels like an appropriate action

F Hi-res-153100694_crop_exactor the 3-year-old it is called the ‘Thinking chair’. You may call it “timeout”. In the single-room schoolhouse, it was a dunce cap.

Rather than use these disciplinary measures, you have to believe there was a part of TCU head coach Gary Patterson that really wanted to go corporal punishment on Casey Pachall after this latest incident.

For the sake of Gary, and TCU’s reputation, as a “we do it the right way” program, this decision to suspend Pachall indefinitely cannot be a Frog and pony show.

Gary has said he will announce Pachall’s fate on Tuesday at his weekly media luncheon.

According to sources, there is intense political pressure at the top of the school to keep Pachall suspended, at the least.

My gut tells me that this will be a suspension, which will include counseling etc., followed by an eventual reinstatement. It will be a semester long timeout.

That’s not the wrong thing to do.

Ncf_u_mathieu_mb_600This has all the makings of an LSU Honey Badger situation. The LSU corner was kicked off the team in early August for a violation of team rules, but has remained at LSU taking classes and there is a chance he can return to the team.

If TCU reinstates Pachall now we will know it has fully embraced all of the trappings, and realities, of big-time college football.

The Frogs may already be there and we are kidding ourselves to think otherwise.

On Aug. 3 I wrote Gary should have suspended his QB for four games after it was learned Pachall failed a drug test for weed, and admitted to the cops that he tried cocaine and ex’. In retrospect, four games was too harsh. Two would have been fine.

Gary very politely disagreed and merely followed university protocol for first time offenders. The head coach was gift-wrapped his out, and thus did not have to play a game without his star QB. The perception existed that Pachall had to walk the line.

Debating whether this situation would have been avoided had Patterson suspended Pachall then is pointless; it happened, and Pachall is suspended now.

For the first time the head coach is exercising the one piece of leverage he had yet to use – Casey can’t play.

50717cc2b2f43.imageGary has sent his QB to timeout. Maybe that will work.

In turn, I commend Pachall for agreeing to sit in timeout to think about what he has done. He could easily have quit TCU, and transferred to another school that would have gladly accepted his presence as a present.

This is no different than telling a little boy, “You can go to the party – but you’re going to stand behind the glass window and watch them play games and eat chocolate cake.”

Should his teammates struggle, he knows some of it is going to be on him. That is not going to be fun.

Know this – this is Pachall’s second official strike with TCU.

Strike One was the university-administered failed drug test he admitted to the cops in February. Admitting to the police he used cocaine and ecstasy did not register in the ball/strike count.

Strike Two was the DWI on Wednesday night.

TCU is acting in a way it is not sure there will be a chance for a third strike.

The parent in me feels for Pachall’s mother and father, and even Patterson. You try and you try and you try and then there is no choice but to try again.

Only after we have children of our do we empathize why on certain days our parents wanted to dump us at a local Army recruiter’s office, or throw us in the lion’s pit at the zoo.

While the money in and around college football is for the adults, we are still talking about kids who are operating in the playpen that is college.

This does not excuse a DWI. A lot of innocent people die in DWI accidents. When it comes to DWI how many of us can say, “There by the grace of God go I”?

A lot of people, such as Father Randy Galloway, and many TCU people, think Pachall has to go. That he has had more than enough chances and it is time to wash their hands of him, and to let someone else deal with him.

At a minimum, he has no more room at TCU. Casey has unknowingly cost himself a lot of money in potential NFL draft status.

Taking away the game is the last card TCU and GP can play.

In terms of perception, it may already be too late to kill the notion that winning has not already compromised standards at TCU just like it does so at many other places.

It is not too late, nor is it ever too late, to try for Casey’s sake.

For now, the thinking chair is worth a try.

Facebook Mac Engel 


You really do think highly of yourself

I think you are about on your fifth strike as far as your career, so who is going to finally sit you in the corner?

For someone that has pulled out of Colonial after more than his fair share, you sure are self righteous at second guessing others.

The only reason people may think TCU is already comprised is because of yellow journalists like you that don't bother to tell the story of how GP is standing up for his players as much as the football program.

But that would not be a good story would it?

Maybe someday you can find a way to make as much of a contribution to Ft Worth and the students of TCU as GP does on a daily basis. It should be easy as a professor, but you seem to fail at it consistently.


Casey is our hero! How can you say those things about him! We love him! TCU needs his spirit. He is an amazing person.


A Parent

Good article. I think you hit it on the head. I hope the kid sorts things out and comes back and plays his brains out. He is young. He has a special opportunity at TCU. I hope he siezes it and makes something of this situation. He can.

Owen G. Clayton

I'm a TCU alum (B.A., 1964). I've been following the drug-bust saga, and it strikes me that Pachall is someone who's blessed with charisma and prowess but cursed with an over-fondness for booze and pot. It's way past high-time for him to sit and think which he loves more--the game, or getting high. I'll accept the sacrifice of a winning season for that.

Byron Davis

"A lot of people, such as Father Randy Galloway, and many TCU people, think Pachall has to go." -- Personally, I have a problem thinking that someone so tied to the church such as Father Galloway, would dismiss Pachall so quickly. Dismissal doesn't seem to be the "Christian" thing to do. He is a 21 year-old kid who has a made mistakes and been caught. The best chance for these kids are those that are caught, and then they can assisted past these difficult times of youth and fame. I really hope God isn't as tough and unforgiving as Father Galloway.

Red Flag

Good article. If anybody asked me, I'd say Casey should sit for at least one game.


School policy says 20% rule on second strike then he sits out two games end of story! You abide by policy not the witch hunters we have in this day and age. He has "NO" choice but to abide by policy or flip hamburgers so I don't see him messing up again. Once you change policy because of descent then you will continue to do it with total regret. Simply said, if an over zealous reporter hadn't requested the police report we wouldn't even know about the failed test. I say for all witch hunters go after reporters because if they do it to Casey will they go after your private information next like they did with Casey when they printed his phone number and other personal information. Oops we messed up but we are reporters. Bull!


As one who struggled w/ substance abuse & its consequences while an undergraduate @ TCU back in the 1980's, I may be able to offer a certain unique perspective. Alcohol & drugs were easy to obtain & abuse back then, also, particularly in the Greek area where I resided. Being quite naive & from a small town about half an hour from Brownwood, Tx (Casey's hometown) I thought this was "normal" college life. After several run-ins w/ TCU Admin, Campus PD & then finally FWPD I was sent to see Buck Beneze, Dean of Male Students. He mentored me & saved my future there is always hope that a young man can learn from his mistakes and poor lifestyle choices. Coach GP is a good man & I trust his intelligence & judgement. I was blessed that many people @ TCU took an interest in me while I was there, even though I wasn't a world-class athlete w/ a multi-million dollar future. I believe TCU is still that kind of place.

Everyone seems to know better

Why does everyone think that based on rumors, reporters opinions (because so far few have been actual reporting of facts), and a few sentences from a 6 month old police report - that they know better or are more qualified to determine the best course of action for Casey and TCU than a coach that spends everyday with him and an administration whose job it is to manage an institution of 9,000 kids just like him?

I guess you all assume that Coach Patterson, AD Del Conte and the Chancellor are all corrupt and won't do the right thing? so you have to voice your less than fully educated opinion?

I am sure no one of any real knowledge would tell someone who looks for any opportunity to tear down TCU as much as Mac - so we know you are just guessing and getting your shots in.

So much for letting those that should judge - guess you guys are all right and anyone that disagrees is wrong.

What a joke.


You set the example for years to come by cutting him now. You need dependable players and will recruit only the best and most reliable players you can find. And expect the highest of standards from your team. Expensive life lesson for Casey, but hopefully he will rebound somewhere or in other areas of his life.

TCU fan

Casey strikes me as a good kid. I think the University should make an example of him. Be hard on him but also give him a lot of support. If TCU is going to continue to be a special place parents can send their kids we need to come down hard when of 'us' gets into trouble but show an enduring level of support on how to correct the problem.

A lot of parents will be watching how administration handles this one.

ATX Houston

Substance abuse is an illness. Simply saying "begone Casey -- you've lost your chance" is turning your back on someone you can help. Did he make a horrible mistake? Yes. That doesn't mean he is doomed forever. Let's let Casey, GP and the administration work it out. Let's also hope that they can all work for what is actually best for Casey. Stop the witch hunt and help the man.


Casey's parents should step in and get their son the help he needs. Coach Patterson and school has obviously failed.


I thought strike one would have been the underage drinking pictures that found their way to the internet. Strike two the failed drug test. Strike three the admitting to doing cocaine and ecstasy separate from that drug test. Finally this DWI as strike four.

Here is your chance

Now is your chance to chance to be a big man and support TCu in their decision without being pompous?

Can you do it?


GP should get no credit. If if were up to him he would have played him the rest of the games and would have forgotten about helping this young man. He was crying for help when he admitted to using drugs. This help has ignored by GP cause all he wants to do is win at whatever expense. He should have and gotten him some help last week instead of finding a way to suit him up for the last game and trying to find a way to play him. His body language today suggested to me that he was not happy that he was told what to do. I have more respect for a roach. GP you are worse than a roach.

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