(FORT WORTH, Texas) — Seventeen Texas Christian University students, four of which are football players, have been arrested on drug charges Wednesday during a raid on and around the school’s Fort Worth campus.
Marijuana, cocaine, molly (a powdered and more potent form of ecstasy), ecstasy pills and prescription drugs including Xanax, hydrocodone and the heavily addictive painkiller OxyContin were among the illicit drugs police allege students were selling to other students, often on campus in fraternity houses.
“I was first shocked, then hurt and now I’m mad,” head coach Gary Patterson said in a statement. “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.”
“The Horned Frogs are bigger and stronger than those involved,” he continued.
Linebacker Tanner Brock, who led the undefeated Rose Bowl champion 2010 team in tackles and was expected to anchor the team’s defense in the coming season, was arrested along with teammates D.J. Yendrey, Tyler Horn and Devin Johnson.
The arrests are a rare black mark for a football program known for its unusually clean record. The Horned Frogs were the only team in the 2011 preseason Top 25 with no players on its roster with criminal records, according to a Sports Illustrated report. TCU and Oklahoma University are reportedly the only schools to perform background checks on recruits.
“I don’t think it’s a football problem,” Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. said during a news conference. “It’s four people on the football team. We don’t know anymore yet.”
“We were targeting dealers. We were not targeting the average student,” said Capt. Ken Dean of the FWPD. “We were targeting individuals who were actively selling and making money doing this.”
The suspects are all alleged to have participated in “hand-to-hand delivery” of drugs to undercover agents. Police said no student “confidential informers” took part in the six-month investigation.
Captain Dean would not reveal how those targeted for arrest were picked out, but did hint that investigators had looked at social media platforms used by TCU students.
Police say the investigation is ongoing and could yield more arrests both on and off campus.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Marilia Brocchetto, Flora Charner, Joshua Berlinger and Angela Dewan, CNN
Grant Olsen, KSL.com
Lisa Respers France, CNN