TCU

After winter of discontent, TCU's Gary Patterson prepares for 18th spring practice

TCU coach Gary Patterson works with linebacker Arico Evans and other defensive players during the first spring practice in 2017.
TCU coach Gary Patterson works with linebacker Arico Evans and other defensive players during the first spring practice in 2017. pmoseley@star-telegram.com

The past month hasn't been the smoothest for TCU coach Gary Patterson.

Former TCU receiver Kolby Listenbee filed a lawsuit against Patterson, several coaches, the school and the Big 12 alleging verbal abuse and pressure to play with injuries.

Details of alleged abuse by five other players was added to the lawsuit last week in an attempt to bolster Listenbee's allegations. But those five former players, which include Stansly Maponga, Ed Wesley and Lonta Hobbs, aren't a party to the lawsuit. They are not plaintiffs. That remains Listenbee and Listenbee alone.

Preparation for Patterson's 18th season at TCU begins Friday when the Horned Frogs hold their first spring practice.

Only one coach in school history has coached the Frogs longer than Patterson. That's the legendary Dutch Meyer, who won 109 games from 1934-52. Patterson, 58, is 160-57 at TCU, which ranks him fourth among active coaches and gives him the nation's second-longest head coaching tenure.

Multiple former well-known TCU players have publicly dismissed the accusations as nothing more than typical football coach antics. One well-known former offensive player for the Frogs now playing in the NFL said he doesn't discount the allegations but also said he never witnessed a teammate being forced to play injured. He spoke to the Star-Telegram on the condition of anonymity.

Patterson, understandably, has declined to comment on the lawsuit.

When four players were arrested in February 2012, Patterson handled the ensuing media melee with aplomb. He was an innocent bystander then, however. This is a little different.

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