Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Live blogging Gary Patterson's press conference, for TCU's game with Baylor, and the announcement about Casey Pachall's suspension for DUI.
Keep it here for updates from TCU coach Gary Patterson's press conference. Refresh often. The transcription is not exact, and usually I can't hear the questions. This is for gist only, with better quotations and commentary to follow.
Patterson is focused on getting to six wins. But the Pachall announcement-- lots of talking and thinking about what to do. Pachall is going to rehab for 30 to 60 days, and will not be enrolled at TCU this semester. Pachall expects to re-enroll for the spring, and graduate in two semesters.
Patterson is glad that so many have reached out to help Pachall, and the whole team. He says he has 124 still to take care of, and has to do the right thing for the whole team. CGP says a one-game or three-game suspension will not make a difference; he has to change the kid's life. Stepping back, if you don't win ballgames because you play a freshman instead of a junior, folks lose jobs, people talk badly about the kids. This kind of thing affects kids' whole lives. Jason Phillips talked about this in 2007 after playing a season without Tommy Blake at full speed-- it was emotionally tiring.
After talking with Casey Pachall's parents, they decided Pachall needed to step away from the whole situation for awhile. Both Pachall and TCU get a chance to heal and to grow. We're still going to try to win football games. We've done it before Pachall, and will do it after.
Boykin played tailback two days last week, and only got one day to prepare for the Iowa State game. TCU went through this before when Chad Huffman went pro in the MLB. Dalton hadn't mentally prepared himself for that, but had to hurry it up. These kind of situations come up-- I've been here for 15 years, and have done this for 30-- we approach these problems straight up.
TCU has a drug recovery program new this semester, and Kelsey and I are going to pledge $100,000 towards that group to help them get more facilitators. Casey is just one of millions. This is a big struggle, and we want to make sure that this is a positive for others.
[Did you do enough the first time?] You can't do things on hearsay. Suspending Casey for three games might have made it worse. If I was going to do anything, maybe Pachall needed not to play a full year. You can't always tell from the outside. People tiptoe around alcoholism because they don't always know what-- everybody is different. I took the facts I had, and did what I thought was the best decision, for this team, for Casey Pachall, and for this university.
I could not forgive myself if I allowed Pachall later on to harm somebody. I know that the plan we have in place tries to do something about it.
[What is required for Pachall to come back and play next year?] The biggest step is what he's doing right now; they have trained professionals who are going to make a difference.
[What does the team say about this?] I didn't ask the team. I'll talk with them later on. We're playing Baylor, and that's why we're here. Not because of Pachall. Baylor deserves our attention because they're a good football team; it's a rivalry we've been playing for years, and we have to finda way to win by one more point.
[Casey's reaction?] I think he's scared. Athletes (maybe males generally) it's hard for them to say they're sorry, and say they were wrong, and show any weakness. They have to have the strength to go out in front of 100,000 people and perform at a high level. Everybody I've talked to who has this addiction says it doesn't get cured until it hits rock bottom, and I admit I have a problem, and I have to fix this or it's not gonna change. We're not talking about about ... we're saving somebody's life. It's my kid. I don't care what anybody else thinks-- as parents we have to help my kid. It doesn't just affect one, it affects 125. How about the rest of 'em? It helps them move on. Travone Boykin and Matt Brown are our guys; it closes the door and we've gotta find a way to go do it. It's like Ross Forrest- he's not playing this season because of season-ending injuries; Michael Thompson had surgery and isn't playing anymore this season. Travoskey Garrett isn't playing. Matt Anderson; I'm not taking anything away from them either. I'm excited-- we could have won on Saturday if we avoided a couple mistakes.
I'm not deciding to change our style of play when we're playing 16 true freshman.
[What's the on-campus group?] TCU Recovers Support Group. We're gonna help escalate that so that it can be a bigger deal on campus. It's a problem on every campus.
The Tommy Blake situation was tougher than this one; you don't have any answers for mind problems. People are scared of those problems and answers.
The professionals will determine whether Casey is an alcoholic; that's not for me to say. I'm not suspending him for 3 games because I don't think it will change him. We're trying to help him. For you who think we're all about wins and losses, you're wrong. It's still about kids. This biggest thing he has is he, even without this semester, is he can graduate in two semesters and a summer, easily. We've gone through all the NCAA, Big12, rules-- that's why I needed to wait until today-- to make sure we had all the paperwork put together, to pick a place for him. HOpefully he understands; I texted him this morning, I'm proud of him. I know he's scared; it's unknown. We all can fight what we can see. How do you deal with that [addition you can't see].
[Do you change your recruiting because of this, to discourage graduating early?] No. Josh Boyce came in early that same semester. In Casey's case, he came, Andy was here, he redshirted a full season, and then he sat through and was a backup for a full year. He wasn't put into the situation until he was ready.
Both Coach Burns and I talked to the team; that night after practice. For me, that was one of the checkmarks leading to the decision, saying, "Now, fellas, we don't need to be out, we need to get our rest." Probably a few more of them were out that same night, it's hard for you to believe, I know. Probably a few more of them than him didn't do their homework, thought they could put it off.
When Pachall and his parents left my office, it wasn't "You need to do this," it was his decision. He needed to know he had an opportunity to come back here. He had to have hope. It's not just athletes who go to school in order to do other things. Casey was a really good student out of high school.
[Is there a new scholly available now?] Casey can come back in January if he's clean. The doctors have to tell me that he's changed. Do you want a 10-step list? There is no answer right now; right now he's trying to find where he's at.
[What's university policy for a DUI?] There is, I won't say what it is. I know you don't get kicked out after one offense. There's a difference between DWI and DUI; Casey had a DWI. For me this is more than one strike. The easiest thing for me to do at the beginning of the season is to kick Casey off the team for a year, then I have an excuse for losing games. That's how people do it all the time. But I'm not in this line of work to save me. You should see my emails; some are not from TCU people, and they don't want Casey Pachall to play. Nowadays you can see where emails come from; it's amazing how some people who run businesses and all that. I hope they don't treat their people.
[How's Boykin?] Boykin reminded me of Dalton in Air Force in 2007, when Dalton played pretty well, but lost. Our 1s and 2s get the same amount of reps. Last week Boykin was taking tailback reps until Thursday. THis week he's got all week. That doesn't mean he's going to be Joe Namath. Just go down the list of freshmen or redshirt freshmen who are playing-- I told them we can't treat them like young players anymore.
I'm excited about him-- he has a wealth of talent and he likes to play the game. No matter what happens, we have a lot of talent and will do good things. It's not a sprint, it's a race. Iowa State beat Texas a couple years ago, last year beat Texas Tech.
I don't know if we'd have won any more games ahead of us with Casey Pachall; maybe we'd have won them all. Experience at quarterback ups your chances, it's been proven, but I don't think about that. My job is to move forward.
The chancellor and I talked about what to do; we discussed. It wasn't him telling me what to do. There's just no way to do it halfway; to change his life. We had to make a strong decision. It came down to-- Casey didn't have to do this. Kids know; when I asked him, he's scared. I would be, too.
[Is the team's drug problem better since February?] It's not why we did this, but I think it sends a message. SOme kids think, "Coach won't let him go because he's that good." It's never been that way. If you don't make good decisions, the football gods will come back a repay you threefold. I don't know if this will work out, but you have to try. That's why Kelsey and I have decided to step up, and not only help Casey Pachall, but help others. We're trying to help kids.