By Trevor Allison
Police arrested 17 students at Texas Christian University early Wednesday morning, including four members of the football team, as part of an investigation into students selling drugs.
TCU Police Chief Steve McGee said the students were selling marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and prescription drugs to students and football players.
According to the warrant affidavits posted by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the students were charged with delivery of either marijuana or a controlled substance or simulated controlled substance.
The arrests took place at locations both on and off campus, including fraternity houses.
The drug bust was a result of a joint investigation between Fort Worth Police and TCU Police that began six months ago after complaints of drug usage on campus from students, staff and the community, McGee said.
The students sold the drugs “hand-to-hand” to undercover police officers on several occasions, McGee said.
He said the investigation is ongoing and there could be more arrests.
“We will continue to work proactively to curtail drug use on the TCU campus,” McGee said.
TCU Chancellor Victor T. Boschini Jr. issued a statement at a press conference Wednesday morning.
“Today we think we took a major step towards ensuring both the health and safety of our campus,” Boschini said. “The students involved were immediately separated from TCU and criminally trespassed from campus.”
Boschini also said that the university will not let the arrests be a distraction or detriment to its purpose.
“The people in our community [faculty, students, staff] will work together to make sure this doesn’t define us, that this makes us even stronger,” Boschini said.
He said most of the students at TCU are doing the right thing and want to make sure the students who aren’t doing the right thing aren’t at TCU.
Dr. Kathy Cavins-Tull, TCU’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, released a statement saying that according to university policy, any student found to be distributing drugs is subject to immediate expulsion.
“We have a responsibility to keep our campus free from this type of behavior,” Cavins-Tull said. “We will examine our programs and procedures to determine if new strategies need to be implemented to prevent this from happening in the future.”
Head football Coach Gary Patterson also released a statement in reaction to the arrests.
“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,” Patterson said. “I believe strongly that young people’s lives are more important than wins or losses.”
TCU senior Clare Milliken said she was aware of the presence of drugs on campus but was surprised how many people were involved.
She also said that she thought TCU’s administration acted properly, noting the character of Boschini.
“The school, especially Chancellor Boschini, handled it very well,” Milliken said. “It’s unfortunate that this happened at a good school.”
Boschini said the university had received overwhelming support from the parents of students.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.