TCU has struggled so far this year. They're 3-4, have the 92nd ranked S&P+ offense, and just lost their starting QB for the year due to injury. Now they have dismissed 2nd leading receiver and dynamic returner (6 career TD returns) senior KaVontae Turpin. Turpin was arrested over the weekend for "alleged assault of a family member" and initially suspended by TCU. Link to a TCU blog with an excerpt from the police report:
"A woman, who said she had been in a relationship with Turpin for five years, was crying and told police that Turpin was angry because he thought she was sending photos of herself to other people. According to the report, the woman said that Turpin grabbed her and dragged her across the parking lot. She said he slammed her to the ground and they wrestled before she got away and went to a neighbor’s door and asked them to call police."
That clearly doesn't sound good and TCU initially suspended him indefinitely. After his suspension it was discovered that Turpin was previously arrested in March 2018 for battery of family member (link), allegedly the same woman. Turpin "has an active bench warrant out for failure to appear in the Las Cruces (N.M) Magistrate Court, the court confirmed on Monday" according to the article.
After this TCU responded by dismissing Turpin and releasing a statement saying:
"The football staff was aware there was an incident in New Mexico, but not that charges included an alleged battery...The publicly available information they reviewed at the time only showed a charge related to property damage. We did not know until yesterday that his legal issues were unresolved."
Gary Patterson also commented saying:
“No bond amount, criminal property damage...This is the information I had...It did not say anything about a woman...That would have been good to know."
The following article from the Star-Telegram argues this claim, with quotes from the Las Cruces police department. Link to the article, with the following quote:
"The Las Cruces police department doesn’t know how TCU wouldn’t have known about the battery charges. All of the charges were filed on the same day — a battery charge, a criminal damage to the property of a household member and interference with communications.
“The criminal complaint contains the information relevant to the arrest and, obviously, contains information on both charges (the battery against a HHM [household member] and the criminal damage to property),” said Dan Trujillo, the Las Cruces police department public information officer.
“It was all filed the same day and on the same complaint that was sent to [the Star-Telegram]. Anyone who would have requested the criminal complaint would have received the same document that [the Star-Telegram] received.”"
Another Star-Telegram article details how easy it would have been for TCU to find out about these charges, as well as detailing all of Patterson's player's legal issues over the years. Link and quote:
"No one ever looked into it further. All one had to do was type in his name for a background check and they would have seen the police report, which is not good; and a bench warrant was issued in July by a Las Cruces, New Mexico court on Turpin over a battery charge from the incident, which he denied.
These background checks are the same ones athletic departments run on potential recruits before offering a scholarship. The checks are free. This was, at least, an egregious oversight."
We've seen a lot of sketchy stuff like this at our "peers" in the B1G East over the past few years so I think it's important that when this happens nationally we're aware of it so these teams and coaches don't get free passes in the future.