By Kevin Lonnquist
So just get it out of the way: because TCU struggled with an unprepared redshirt freshman quarterback (Trevone Boykin) running the offense and the Horned Frogs went 3-6, there was no other option but to do this.
When Pachall was suspended indefinitely in October, I believed that. I also called for the program to end the relationship with the embattled signal caller and move on. While Big 12 scribes didn’t know how it would end, many of us suspected the Horned Frogs would struggle.
As time passed, I gave this issue more thought. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that the best way to “save” Pachall is to keep him in a structured environment. He constantly needs to be constantly checked and tested. He also needs that guiding figure (outside of his parents) to keep him going. Maybe that’s Gary Patterson. Maybe that’s a member of the TCU coaching staff or in the athletic department.
To turn Pachall loose now could have ended in dire circumstances.
If it had, I don’t think anyone at TCU could have lived with himself. Just because he’s out of rehab, this is the most vulnerable time for Pachall. He likely feels good about where he is and the progress he’s made.
But it’s a different world today than the one he left in October. So he has to be able to deal with the daily issues and daily pressures, namely school and football. Temptations still will be out there. Pachall doesn’t need enablers. He needs that support network.
Deep down, I believe Pachall wants to be a good person. But he presented the persona of someone who could be easily influenced. That’s why you saw those ridiculous and legendary Internet pictures. This is a second chance for Pachall.
He knows it.
Hopefully, his teammates will be receptive and will accept him back.
Given his ability, Pachall probably is going to play in 2013. Of course, there’s risk involved for both him and TCU. Another slip means likely a permanent severance. It could also set the program back some. But winning in life is bigger than beating Texas.
The journey continues for Pachall. He just has to stay on the right path.