Yesterday, TCU linebacker Dylan Jordan released a statement on Twitter accusing Horned Frogs head coach Gary Patterson of using a racial slur. The reason for Patterson using the word, as indicated in Jordan’s accusations, was to bring attention to it being said in meetings in hopes for its usage to cease.
As head coach, Patterson has the right to ask his players not to use the word around the program. However, him allegedly saying the word instead of simply addressing it another way is where the issue resides. As a society, we are slowly eliminating the use of this term, and many others that can be deemed as racist. For the leader of a major College Football program to say this word or anything related to it is simply unacceptable in any context.
Many speculated whether or not Patterson would be unemployed soon after these allegations arose. To this moment, he is still the head coach at TCU. According to ESPN, the Chancellor of TCU has even released a statement saying that Patterson has apologized to the team for his usage of the word. While things may improve and tensions lessen within the program, the damage has already been done.
Now, the Horned Frogs Football program has this cloud hovering over them. No matter what Patterson’s intentions were with saying the word, high school recruits on the outside looking in may be severely taken back. For this, recruiting at TCU could take a significant hit — leading to a potential major slump for the program.
If TCU wants to learn from an example on how to handle this situation, they have to look no further than WVU. While the allegations against former Mountaineer defensive coordinator Vic Koenning were nowhere near this severe, all involved knew it was best for the program to go their separate ways. In head Coach Neal Brown’s statement regarding the “mutual parting of ways,” he referenced that in the political climate of today, it was the only logical decision. This should be how it is viewed by TCU.
In today’s world, what Patterson did is simply unacceptable — whether you view it as such or not. As long as he is with the program, this baggage will come along with him. No matter the context, and no matter the intentions, it is a bad look for Patterson. It is in TCU’s best interest to move on.