Heisman threat Kenneth Davis, the Temple Tornado, was swept away by the TCU football scandal in 1985 for taking money from boosters. Frogs Coach Jim Wacker cleaned house – perhaps fearing a death penalty situation like SMU at the time – more likely, Wacker was trying to do the right thing – for all his crazy antics, the late coach was a man of tremendous integrity.
KD had finished 5th in the Heisman voting his junior year, propelling TCU to an 8-1 start and a 1984 Blue Bonnet Bowl berth, which at the time was a bonanza season for the Frogs. A couple of years later, Davis returned to Fort Worth to finish up his degree during an off-season from Green Bay (where he started, before flourishing behind Thurman Thomas with Buffalo’s 4 straight AFC title teams).
With yours truly, Davis told a KTCU radio audience why he took the money from the booster. He said he couldn’t even afford to take his girlfriend to the movies at the time – I believed him and still think the system encourages such behavior at times….however, I also believe Wacker did the right thing even though we went right back to losing on the field (and yes, “Ya Gotta Believe” was one of Wacker’s favorite lines during the great victories of 1984).
Fast forward to the 2010 season – Tanner Brock combined with Tank Carder to form the best linebacker tandem in college football – and they proved it by holding high-scoring Wisconsin to 19 points in a historic Rose Bowl victory as the Frogs finished undefeated and ranked #2 in the country.
Early in 2011, Brock was injured for the season – but he was able to red-shirt his junior year and should have been the leader of the TCU defense as they got set to invade the Big 12 Conference in 2012. Then, very ironically, a day after the Big 12 schedule was officially released, Brock and 3 other key TCU players were arrested for their involvement in a massive drug bust.
“UNBELIEVABLE” is what Wacker used to say about his 1984 Frogs – now the word comes to mind in a much different way; but let’s keep things in perspective – this is nothing remotely close to the Penn State child abuse sex scandal; however, it is bad – and Gary Patterson knew it and did something about it, ala Coach Wacker. So did the University again.
I am currently rewriting the ending of this article, because I was previously livid that Patterson was just saying that HE was livid about the situation and the 4 players had been “separated” from the TCU campus. However, word came later today that the 4 players had actually been expelled already, in part because of a surprise drug test Coach P slapped on the team February 1.
So, at the end of the day, kudos to Coach Patterson and TCU…..we may suffer on the field with a mediocre 2012 season but at least we can hold our heads high like Coach Wacker always did.
As for alleged drug-dealer Tanner Brock, we won’t see him back on campus like Kenneth Davis earning his degree – when KD spoke about college players getting a chance to earn some cash to go to the movies, this is not what he had in my mind.