Editor's Note: An earlier version of this report included a photo that showed two football players. Player number 59 was not among those accused of drug dealing by police. We regret the error.
[Updated at 11:08 a.m. ET Thursday] Fifteen Texas Christian University students, including four members of its Top 25 football team, were arrested Wednesday morning on suspicion of selling drugs, the school and police said.
The football players include two defensive starters for last season's squad, which was No. 14 in the final Associated Press poll, plus a junior linebacker who sat out most of 2011 with an injury but was the team's leading tackler in 2010.
The 15 illegally sold marijuana or other drugs, including cocaine, Ecstasy, acid and prescription medicine, to undercover officers during a six-month investigation launched after authorities received complaints about drug activity, TCU Police Chief Steve McGee told reporters Wednesday.
"There is no doubt that all of those arrested today are drug dealers," said McGee, who added that the selling happened on and off the Fort Worth campus. "These individuals engaged in hand-to-hand delivery for money with undercover agents."
School officials said TCU has banned the students from campus, class and school activities, pending the outcome of their cases. TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini said a vice chancellor will "determine what is going to happen to those students, following this."
"What they did, to be honest, is simply unacceptable. This behavior, when reported, is never tolerated at our university," Boschini said at a news conference with McGee and other officials.
An investigation by university and city police continues, and more arrests could come, Boschini said.
The 15 students were among 19 people for whom arrest warrants were issued as part of the probe, Fort Worth police and TCU said late Wednesday. Eighteen of the 19 were arrested Wednesday. Earlier, the school said 17 students were arrested, but "upon further examination of student records, it appears that 15 were students this semester and four were not," TCU spokeswoman Lisa Albert said.
The four football players – junior linebacker Tanner Brock, 21; junior defensive tackle D.J. Yendrey, 20; junior safety Devin Johnson, 21; and sophomore offensive tackle Ty Horn, 21 – were arrested on preliminary charges of delivery of marijuana. Johnson and Brock face felonies, according to arrest warrants released by the Fort Worth Police Department.
Other arrestees face preliminary charges of felony or misdemeanor charges of delivery of marijuana or delivery of a controlled substance, according to Fort Worth police.
The students operated in several groups, and it's not clear whether those groups were connected, a Fort Worth police officer said at the news conference.
Albert said the students' ban from class and activities will remain until the cases are adjudicated. After the judicial process determines whether they are guilty, they "can face a disciplinary process on campus which could result in expulsion," Albert said.
The ban on extracurricular activities includes intercollegiate athletics, Albert said. The four arrested football players were not on the team's online roster Wednesday afternoon.
Head coach Gary Patterson said he was shocked, hurt and then mad after he heard of the arrests Wednesday morning.
"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," Patterson said on the school's athletics website. "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."
TCU Athletic Director Chris Del Conte said he "will not tolerate behavior that reflects poorly on TCU, the athletics department, our teams or other student-athletes within the department."
"We have an excellent athletics program at TCU, and an indicator of that excellence is the fact that we will not tolerate criminal conduct among our student-athletes," Del Conte said in his online statement.
The arrests come months before the football team, coming off an 11-2 season, prepares to start its first year in the Big 12 conference.
Brock, the linebacker, was an SI.com honorable-mention All-American after leading the Horned Frogs in tackles and fumble recoveries as a sophomore in 2010. But he was limited to one game as a junior, sitting out most of the season with an injured foot.
Johnson, the safety, started eight games in 2011, recording 47 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Yendrey, the defensive tackle, played in every game this past season and was an honorable-mention All-Mountain West Conference selection, recording three sacks and 39 tackles.
What's amazing is that these drud stings take six months to complete. Did they expect these small times sales to lead to the Mexican Cartel or Escobar? I think these "six-month investigation sting" police took their tactics from a page out of the United States Postal Inspection Service. Six of them followed a postal clerk around for eight months and acquire eight minutes of video – all because they didn't want to pay the employee, are you ready for this – 2 days pay for sick leave. They spent $390,000.00 in wages for the police and lostthe case in arbitration – now the post office had to pay the clerk $98,000.00 in back pay, the original 2 days sick leave. Now you understand why these type of investigations stink. They waste all the money for a 6 month sting and the return at the end isn't enough to blow your meth-ed out nose. Well – at least they were Christian dope heads...
Enforcing the law is not cheap. Are you suggesting the police ignore the law. Do parents want their kids forced into a drug ring when they go to college. Seems to me you are missing some values.
Did they sell any to Whitney? Maybe they are the culprits? Poor Whitney – now she rests in peace. Bobby started her on that crack anyway – didn't you Mr. "My Prerogative?"
Do not just say "No to Drugs" – say, "No – thank you."
Where are Nancy Reagan's manners?
The manners you are speaking of are lost in the "Obama's Beer Summits."
Texas Christian University. The hypocrisy continues.......
Amen to that
That's not fair. Even christians need drugs too. Everyone needs to get high every now and then. I just happen not to use drugs to get my highs. Everyone to their own devices.
We need to throw a few more trillion dollars at this. Give the police total power and proper weapons – like Death-Rays that work on large crowds. Take away forever what's left of everybody's stupid rights and liberties. Indulge ourselves in even more wishful thinking or bizarre pseudo-science, then, before more hippies or the pathetically ill & dying get a chance to corrupt and endanger our truly pure and caring society with their evil plants, send all our children to Newt's Moon Colony of re-education to be taught about marital fidelity.
After the trail the cops can use or sell the confiscated drugs.
W I N N I N G !!
Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Friday Night Lights". lol
It gets worse and worse as American culture degenerates into an abyss of sewage, The culture is joyless & drugs seem to kids to explain how to enjoy it artificially. The story's disgusting. And it comes on the heels of "celebrating" the demise of WH.
Hold on wait a minute. Are these folks over 18? I guess the answer is yes so they should be free to use whatever drug they want to. Government should not force adults to stop taking any drug. A simple warning should suffice.
Drugs are not that bad. Even Jesus used a little wine now and then.
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