Five TCU football players tested positive for marijuana and failed a Feb. 1 drug test initiated by coach Gary Patterson, a source said, and 11 others had trace amounts within the margin of error.
Marijuana was the only drug detected. Patterson ordered the tests after a recruit complained of drug use by players and turned down a scholarship offer from the Horned Frogs, sources have said.
Eighty-six players passed the test, the source said.
The results contrast with the numbers in arrest warrant affidavits, which quoted players as saying 60 to 82 players likely failed the test.
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It is unknown whether the four players arrested in Wednesday's drug bust -- Tanner Brock, D.J. Yendrey, Devin Johnson and Ty Horn -- were among those who tested positive, but Brock told an undercover officer that he failed the test, according to the arrest documents. The four have been kicked off the team.
A second source, a former player, said that the numbers quoted in the affidavits were exaggerated.
"There was definitely a small group of guys using weed but nothing more than that," he said.
"I think weed in general is prevalent on college campuses. A lot of students look at it just like alcohol."
Former players applauded the school's handling of the situation, which included a six-month effort by Fort Worth and campus police.
Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. participated in a news conference to announce the arrests Wednesday morning.
Eighteen people, including 15 students, are accused of selling drugs to undercover agents.
"My first thought was definitely shock and disbelief," said Jeff Olson, who finished his career in December as a starting offensive lineman. "It quickly went to concern for their families, because everyone here is so close and you meet parents, brothers, sisters."
Some students and alumni have called for Patterson or athletic director Chris Del Conte to address the drug test results publicly or at least strongly discount the wild speculation that erupted from unsubstantiated information in the affidavits.
The players disagreed.
Patterson is "just not that type of person to come wave the numbers in your face and tell you you're wrong," said Blake Schlueter, who was a center from 2005 to 2008. "He's not worried what outsiders are saying, because he knows he has a handle on the program and he's doing what needs to be done, along with all the other coaches and other officials. They don't need to tell the public how many people failed. It's not their concern, I don't feel."
Boschini said in a statement that TCU will not release the results of the Feb. 1 drug tests. Patterson and Del Conte did not respond to requests for comment.
The former athletes said they were less surprised by the marijuana use than by the allegations that four football players were selling drugs.
"I was shocked and then just disappointed," said former quarterback Max Knake (1992-95). "I don't think in any way this reflects on the whole program or what Coach Patterson has done, but it's just a shame that this has happened. I would hope that this is something so out of whack at TCU that it's an anomaly."
Schlueter said: "If you get 100 guys together from a fraternity or football or anything on a college campus, someone is going to be doing something they shouldn't be. It's obviously disappointing, but you're dealing with kids in their early 20s. They're going to make dumb choices."
Indeed, marijuana use is on the rise, according to a report released by the NCAA last month. It said that 22.6 percent of 20,474 student-athletes participating in an anonymous survey in 2009 admitted to using marijuana in the previous 12 months. That was up from 21.2 percent in 2005.
Former receiver Curtis Clay, who is working on his master's degree at TCU, said that the news hurts now but that in the long run it will be clear that TCU officials including Patterson and Boschini did the right thing.
"TCU's mission statement says we want ethical leaders in a global community, and we really believe that," Clay said. "We want that represented in everything we do. I commend them for recognizing it and deciding to do something about it, instead of sweeping the matter under the rug like we've seen recently from other institutions."
One TCU athletic booster, who asked to remain anonymous, applauded TCU's hands-on approach to the investigation.
He said his group of TCU alumni friends feels the school handled the crisis openly and honestly.
"They just let the chips fall where they may -- if it was a football player, fine, if it was a rich kid, fine," he said. "They're really disappointed in those kids. They had a warm feeling for the families of those kids and how disappointed they must be. But they think TCU handled it right, and getting rid of them will make us have a stronger program."
This report includes material from The Associated Press.