Three starters among TCU players arrested in major drug sweep

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UPDATED 1:32 p.m. ET: Tanner Brock was arrested on three felony charges relating to the drug sting. Click HERE for the details contained in Brock’s arrest warrant.

Perhaps the most disturbing/damning detail contained in the warrant?  Brock told an informant that it was likely only about 20 players on TCU’s roster would pass a drug test.

So, yes, there’s likely still a lot of road left to travel on this story, with the speculation being that further arrests/dismissals/suspensions could be in the offing.

UPDATED 12:22 p.m. ET: The names of the four TCU football players arrested in a drug sweep Wednesday have been released by police officials.

Linebacker Tanner Brock, offensive lineman Ty Horn, defensive back Devin Johnson and defensive lineman D.J. Yendrey were all named as individuals who will now be facing charges stemming from the six-month investigation.  The names of all four players have been removed from the roster on the team’s official website.

Brock is by far the most well-known name, having led the Horned Frogs in tackles during the 2010 season.  He suffered an ankle injury in the 2011 opener and missed the remainder of the year.

Yendrey started the first 10 games last season, while Johnson started the final eight.

All three were expected to be starters in 2012.  While it’s not yet official, it’s believed all three, plus Horn, have been dismissed from the football program.

Head coach Gary Patterson did release a statement, though.  Here it is, in its entirety:

“There are days people want to be a head football coach, but today is not one of those days. As I heard the news this morning, I was first shocked, then hurt and now I’m mad.

“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. I believe strongly that young people’s lives are more important than wins or losses.

“This situation isn’t unique to TCU—it is a global issue that we all have to address. This isn’t just about bad decisions made by a small percentage of my team. It is about a bigger issue across this country and world.

“As a coach, I do the best I can to educate members of my team. We have programs in place that teach student-athletes about what they should and shouldn’t do and how to be successful in life. I talk to them about how to be students and upstanding men that uphold the TCU name and its traditions.

“At the end of the day, though, sometimes young people make poor choices. The Horned Frogs are bigger and stronger than those involved.”

______________________________

With its spring practice set to start in exactly 10 days, TCU has a very serious and potentially crippling situation on its hands.

Wednesday morning, TCU chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. confirmed that “many current students” were arrested earlier in the day in what was described as a major on-campus drug sweep.  At a press conference which concluded just a short time ago, it was announced that 17 students were arrested, including four unnamed football players.  The charges will stem from the individuals allegedly selling cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana and prescription medication.

The sweep was part of what’s been a six-month investigation by the Fort Worth Police Department and TCU Campus Police.

“TCU has never before experienced a magnitude of student arrests such as this,” Boschini said in a statement posted on the school’s website prior to the press conference. “In fact, Campus Police records show only five student arrests related to drug law violations in recent years.”

The identities of the players will be released later in the day, although if one rumored name proves true, it would be a significant blow to the Horned Frogs as they prepare for their first season in the Big 12.  The investigation is still ongoing, and police officials stated they are still trying to determine whether the four players were selling drugs to their teammates.

“We were not targeting students, fraternities or football players. We were targeting drug dealers,” Capt. Ken Dean said at the press conference.

Head coach Gary Patterson has yet to comment on the developing situation.

Duke starting safety Jeremy McDuffie out indefinitely after surgery on fractured thumb

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What we do know is that Duke will be without its starting piece of its defense.  What we don’t know is for how long.

The football program announced Wednesday that Jeremy McDuffie underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a fractured right thumb.  The junior sustained the injury during a recent Blue Devils practice.

As a result of the injury and subsequent surgery, McDuffie will be sidelined indefinitely.

McDuffie transitioned from cornerback to safety this past spring. Entering summer camp, the defensive back had been listed as a starter for the Blue Devils.  The past two seasons, McDuffie had played in 24 games.

Duke opens the 2017 season Sept. 2 against NC Central.  They will kick off ACC play three weeks later on the road against North Carolina.

Albeit with a disclaimer, Jim Mora doesn’t see Josh Rosen leaving UCLA early for NFL

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Most expect Josh Rosen to be one of the first quarterbacks selected when the next NFL draft rolls around.  Rosen’s coach, though, doesn’t see the outspoken junior being a part of the pool of available draftees.

“My firm belief is that he will not leave,” UCLA head coach Jim Mora told Yahoo SportsPete Thamel over the weekend. “I don’t think he’ll leave. …

“I want a disclaimer, I have an option to change my opinion. But as we sit here right now, I can really honestly say I don’t think he’s going to leave.”

Mora’s proclamation comes less than two weeks before the Bruins kick off the 2017 season and around five months before draft-eligible early entrants have to officially file their paperwork with the NFL.

Rosen flashed brilliance as a true freshman in 2015, passing for nearly 3,700 yards and 23 touchdowns.  His sophomore campaign was marred by a nerve issue in his throwing shoulder that sidelined him for the final six games of the season.  Rosen has resoundingly rebounded from that health issue, and will head into the 2017 season 100-percent healthy.

Whether he enters the 2018 season 100-percent Bruin remains, his head coach’s confidence notwithstanding, highly unlikely or even doubtful, especially given his recent comments that football and school don’t mix.

Report: Call to escort service coincided with a Hugh Freeze recruiting trip

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Not surprisingly, more details are surfacing in Hugh Freeze‘s unceremonious exit from Oxford.

Freeze resigned as the head football coach at Ole Miss last month in part because of Jan. 19 phone call to an escort service that was initially deemed to be a misdial.  According to the Wall Street Journal, that call came a few hours after a university plane landed in Tampa, Fla., as part of a five-day, 13-stop recruiting trip.  On that plane was Freeze as well as other members of the Rebels football staff.

The discovery of the link between the call and recruiting trip came after a review of phone records and other documents.

After Freeze’s “resignation,” Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork described an unspecified pattern of personal misconduct that led to the coach’s departure.  Bjork somewhat expounded on that pattern to the Journal.

Although school officials had previously declined to characterize the alleged misconduct, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said in response to questions from the Journal about Freeze’s travel that the university’s investigation uncovered “calls of a similar nature” over the course of several years, often matching up with travel logs showing the coach’s use of the school plane. The school said it examined his travel logs from peak recruiting times—often November, December and January—when Freeze would travel out of state, using the school plane and other public resources.

“When we say pattern, we are describing other phone numbers that when you Google them pull up similar type websites, services, however you would describe them,” Bjork said. “We took action swiftly.

Speculation of late has there being more, potentially much more, to Freeze’s forced resignation.  Only time will tell how much more will ultimately come out — especially if another former Ole Miss head coach’s lawsuit, kicked out of federal court for lack of jurisdiction, is revived in the state of Mississippi as expected.

Reports: ankle injury likely to keep WR Michael Pittman out of USC’s opener

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In his college football preview Bible, the great Phil Steele had Michael Pittman listed as one of three starting wide receivers for USC.  With the start of a new season a little more than two weeks away, Pittman doesn’t appear set to make that magazine projection come to fruition.

According to multiple reports, Pittman suffered an ankle injury during practice Tuesday and was taken off the field via a cart after having a boot placed on his left foot.  While X-rays taken post-practice showed no break or fracture, the sophomore has been diagnosed with the dreaded high-ankle sprain.

As a result, the Los Angeles Daily News writes that “[i]t seems unlikely he would be able to play against Western Michigan.” Rivals.com tweeted that the injury “[p]robably keeps him out of season opener.”

At least for now, the football program has yet to officially rule Pittman out for the opener.

Pittman was a four-star 2016 recruit, rated as the No. 9 receiver in the country.  As a true freshman last season, he caught six passes for 82 yards.