Four TCU football players among 17 students arrested in drug investigation

By Bailey McGowan

Four TCU football players among 17 students arrested in drug investigation

Linebacker Tanner Brock and three other Texas Christian U. football players were among the 17 current and two former students arrested this morning on and around campus as part of a six-month drug investigation Fort Worth and TCU Police.

The students have been separated from campus. Officials at a 9:30 press conference said that more arrests are likely to be made.

“There’s no doubt all arrested today are drug dealers,” said TCU Police Chief Steven McGee. “These students engaged in hand-to-hand delivery with undercover officers.”

Captain Ken Dean reported in the press conference that two female and 15 males were of the arrested, three of which were on-campus residents, 14 off-campus.

McGee said the drugs involved included: marijuana, ecstasy pills, and a powdered form of ecstasy commonly called “molly”, prescription drugs such as Xanax, hydrocodone and Oxycontin.

“Ninety-nine point nine percent of the kids here do the right thing, and we want to make sure that the kids that aren’t are not at TCU,” Chancellor Victor Boschini said at the press conference.

TCU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Chris Del Conte said that criminal conduct would not be tolerated in the athletics program.

“Our student-athletes are a microcosm of society and unfortunately that means some of our players reflect a culture that glorifies drugs and drug use. That mindset is not reflected by TCU nor will it be allowed within athletics,” Del Conte said in a statement released to media.

Head football coach Gary Patterson said he and his staff would not tolerate drug use on his team.

“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,” Patterson said.

The chancellor said in a separate interview that police told him of the investigation about eight days ago:  “They said they were in the process of an investigation that might result in arrests but of course they didn’t give me or anyone else any specific details because they didn’t want to lose the element of surprise.”

He said he has notified the chairman of the board of trustees. As of now, the board of trustees will not hold a special meeting concerning the drug bust but will discuss it at their upcoming meeting in April, he said. He added that he expects to have all of the information concerning the drug bust by about March 30.

“We don’t want these students on our campus and if anyone is dealing drugs or breaking the law, get rid of them,” Boschini said. “Any students dealing and working in these illegal things have to go somewhere else because it’s not going to be here.”

Last year 71 students were taken through the  for drug violations, Boschini said.

Former Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Don Mills said there were drugs on campus during his term of the past 17 years but not to this extent.

“There has been a noticeable increase in the use of a wide variety of drugs over the last three or four years, including prescription drugs as well as street drugs,” Mills said.

He said the university has done two things: first is to have programming about drugs and the second is when TCU became aware of it either intervene in a counseling or a disciplinary way.

The university’s policy has a zero tolerance policy about his behavior Boschini and Mills said.

The response from parents, alumni, students, and trustees has all been positive, Boschini said.

“I’ve gotten roughly 20 percent from parents, 20 percent from alumni, 60 percent from students with trustees being included in parents and alumnus because most of them are parents or alumnus,” Boschini said.

Fort Worth Police released names of those arrested:

Current Students:
1. Bud Pollard Dillard
2. Cynthia (Cindy) Jaqueline Zambrano
3. David Wayne (DJ) Yendrey *
4. Devin Jay Johnson *
5. Earl Patrick Burke
6. Hunter Wallace McLaughlin
7. Jonathan Blake Jones
8. Katherine Ann Peitre
9. Matthew Iarossi Davis
10. Michael Gragg King
11. Peter Signavong
12. Richard Clay Putney
13. Scott (Scooter) Lee Anderson
14. Tanner Wilson Brock*
15. Taylor Davis Cowdin
16. Tyler (Ty) Andrew Horn*
17. William (Will) Davis Jennings

Two former students:
18. Austin Carpenter
19. Eduardo (Eddie) J. Hernandez

*Football Player
The email from Boschini sent cmapus-wide at 8:05 a.m.:

Dear Campus Community,

Early today the Fort Worth Police Department and TCU Campus Police concluded an investigation into drug selling on and around campus that unfortunately led to the arrest of many current TCU students.

While this news is certainly shocking and disappointing, it is important to remember that TCU has clear expectations for its students: that they behave in an ethical manner, abide by campus policies and adhere to state and federal law. These students are charged with acting in a manner that is incompatible with TCU values and against the law.  That is simply unacceptable and such reported behavior is not tolerated at this University.

We have a responsibility to ensure that our campus environment is free of such behavior. Today’s actions highlight that responsibility. The students involved were immediately separated from TCU and criminally trespassed from campus. Further, according to University policy, students arrested and found in violation of distributing drugs are subject to immediate expulsion from TCU.

TCU has never before experienced a magnitude of student arrests such as this. In fact, Campus Police records show only five student arrests related to drug law violations in recent years. I have asked our vice chancellor for student affairs, Dr. Kathy Cavins-Tull, to examine whether any new programs or procedures need to be implemented to curtail this type of behavior in the future. The Fort Worth Police Department also has offered to help in these efforts.

Today’s events have forever changed the lives of the involved students, and we hope they will find a healthy way to move forward. Also, the next couple of weeks will be tough for the TCU family. There is no doubt that it will hurt to see our name associated with this type of behavior. But we must not allow this moment to define us. We must remember that we are overwhelmingly a community of dedicated students, faculty and staff and focused on changing the world through our collective work and commitment to leadership.

Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr.

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