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Horned Frogs head coach Gary Patterson talks about his conversation with players at their first spring practice since the drug bust at Texas Christian University.
TCU coach Gary Patterson said Friday that his team is trying to move "straight forward."
The Big 12-bound Horned Frogs opened spring football Friday. The first practice came only nine days after four players were among 15 current and four former TCU students arrested on drug charges.
"I still feel badly for those four and, really, I feel badly for all of them, because you wish you could have saved them," Patterson said. "You wish you could have got to them before it happened."
The four players, including three past starters on defense, are no longer on the team.
"Whether they were the other kids on campus or mine, they're still somebody's kids, and if you're going to be in my business, what you do is, you never quit caring about kids," Patterson said. "And you hope that we all learn lessons, because we're all knuckleheads some time in our life. ... Some of us have done things as knuckleheads that are worse than others."
Patterson, talking to reporters for the first time since the Feb. 15 arrests, said the most disappointing thing for him was that it seemed everyone decided that the program went from being really good to suddenly everybody's bad.
"Hopefully, from across the nation, not did this help kids at TCU and my football team, but this also raised a point across the nation that this was not just a TCU situation," Patterson said. "This is something that's going on in our colleges and in our society that we have to deal with."
According to arrest affidavits, charged players indicated to undercover officers that 60 to 82 players could have failed a Feb. 1 drug test.
While not getting specific, Patterson said those numbers are not true.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported on Feb. 16 that a confidential source said only five members of the team failed a Feb. 1 drug test.