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.

Illinois boots three players charged with home invasion and robbery

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Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.

Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.

Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.

Report: Conference USA to air at least 15 football games on Twitter in 2017

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Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.

A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.

Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.

Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.

Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

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It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.

Wisconsin’s season tickets for 100th anniversary of Camp Randall are a thing of beauty

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The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.

Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.

These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.