The arrest this week of TCU wide receiver Bandon Carter on suspicion of possession of marijuana charges is the latest in a string of marijuana-related arrests at the Ft. Worth school, prompting concerns about whether a problem has resurfaced at the university and, in particular, within its football program. In April, wide receiver LaDarius Brown was dismissed from the team after his arrest on suspicion of possession of marijuana charges and in February of 2012, four football players were among 17 students busted for suspicion of selling marijuana.
According to reports, police ran the license plate of a 2010 Lexus Carter was the driver of around 5 p.m. Tuesday and found that the car had two outstanding traffic warrants associated with it. Carter and his passenger, Alexis Harris, were subsequently pulled over and arrested when they were discovered to be in possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, police said. Harris, 22, a junior who was on the women’s soccer team last fall was also arrested on the two traffic warrants. Carter was driving the car owned by Harris, authorities said.
After a breakout season in 2012, in which he was second on the team with 36 catches for 590 yards, Carter, a senior, never showed up last season and caught 31 balls for 370 yards and no touchdowns. Plagued by off the field issues since, he was granted a leave of absence from the team this spring. His latest run-in is now expected to be his last. Lisa Albert, a TCU spokesperson, said outside of any legal action Carter is facing, a disciplinary hearing in front of the school board is forthcoming and if he is found to be in violation of the university’s code of conduct, punishments ranging from dismissal from the team to dismissal from the university could be handed down.
Carter’s likely removal from the team is sure to leave a void at the wideout position, particularly when combined with Brown’s unceremonious exit. Just as Carter, Brown was filled with promise. And also like Carter, Brown’s antics outside of football kept him from reaching his full potential. The Horned Frogs are now stuck with massive questions. Since Josh Boyce’s 161 receptions for 2,535 yards and 22 touchdowns in three seasons with TCU from 2010-2012, they have not gotten much production out of the position. Brown’s 6-4, 220 pound frame will be missed, but Carter’s big play capability, he was also a standout punt-return specialist, will leave the biggest hole.
The school and its football program had just begun lifting the black eye left by the drug sting that netted 13 students and four football players two years ago, resulting in the dismissal from the team of Tyler Horn, Tanner Brock, Devin Johnson and D.J. Yendry. And with the DUI arrest last year of quarterback Casey Pachall, who later sought treatment for alcohol abuse, the TCU football program’s staining extends beyond just marijuana abuse. There is a notion in college athletics that big-time talent sometimes comes with big-time problems. Texas Christian has unfortunately learned that lesson all too well lately.
Commentary by Rick Sarlat