Mac Engel

Quarterback Trevone Boykin tarnished a beautiful legacy at TCU

Trevone Boykin’s career record-breaking career ended with a bar fight and arrest in San Antonio.
Trevone Boykin’s career record-breaking career ended with a bar fight and arrest in San Antonio. Star-Telegram

At 2:15 p.m. Monday, TCU arrived in San Antonio and shortly thereafter went over the ground rules for the team’s stay for the Alamo Bowl. This included a series of pointers from the San Antonio police department.

Shortly before midnight on Wednesday night, a member of the TCU coaching staff made the rounds at the team hotel in downtown San Antonio where he found Trevone Boykin in his room. Per team rules, all players had to be back in their rooms before midnight.

When the coast was clear, TCU’s All-American quarterback left his hotel room and walked three blocks to party at Pat O’Brien’s for a Hurricane or two or eight.

At 2 a.m. Thursday, Boykin’s college career ended. He needlessly stained a career that for four years had been one of the best ever at TCU. Nothing about Boykin’s college career was cliche except the finale: He finished his career as the stereotypical drunk college guy who got into a bar fight.

Shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday, Boykin and teammate receiver Preston Miller were suspended by TCU head coach Gary Patterson; the last images of Boykin we will have for a while are of him shielding his face with a jacket from news media after he was bailed out of a San Antonio jail by a member of the TCU athletic department.

There may not be a player in the modern era more important to TCU than Trevone Boykin, or even a better story, and it ends like this — on a bus back to Fort Worth to watch his teammates play in what should have been the final game of a brilliant college career.

I never thought I would say this about Trevone Boykin, but what an idiot. No player had been as aware of his identity and role more than Boykin. He diminished it because he forgot nothing good happens in a bar at 2 a.m., and no one wins a fight with a cop. Not even Trevone Boykin was above being a dumb kid.

Don’t make any excuses. Do not rationalize it. We have all done dumb things, and now he has, too. Both he and his teammates will suffer the consequences. College is about learning, and this will be Boykin’s final course.

It won’t define him, but it will always be there.

TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte told me Thursday that there was no consideration to let the charges that Boykin assaulted a bartender, a cop and was publicly intoxicated play out, which would have allowed him to play Saturday against Oregon in the Alamo Bowl.

There was a similar precedent. In August 2012, news broke that then-starting quarterback Casey Pachall had admitted to police earlier in the year that he had failed a drug test for marijuana, and that he used cocaine and ecstasy. TCU disciplined Pachall, but he never did miss a start as a result of these infractions because, technically, he had not violated university policy.

“There was never a consideration not to suspend (Boykin),” Del Conte said. “I talked to (head coach) Gary Patterson about it and he said, ‘I’ve got 120 other kids to worry about. No one player is bigger than the team.’ 

TB forgot about that for what appears to be the first time in his tenure at TCU, which left GP with no choice but to end the college career of someone who meant so much to the head coach and this school.

There is a sad coincidence here. Boykin’s career as a starter began because Pachall was suspended for a DUI, and it ends with a suspension and police mugshot of his own.

This incident won’t hurt Boykin’s NFL draft stock. It’s one smudge on an angelic career. Boykin’s draft status was marginal because of his size. Before the Pounding at Pat O’s he was, at best, an undrafted rookie signee. He still is just that.

What Boykin destroyed was his team’s chances at defeating Oregon, and his own pristine legacy at a school that adored him.

TCU opened as a one-point favorite over Phil Knight University. After Boykin’s arrest, Oregon became a seven-point favorite.

Boykin should always be welcome back at TCU, but he forever changed a legacy that up until 2 a.m. Thursday was inspiring.

Nothing he did on Thursday morning changes the accomplishments and the milestones he and his team accumulated in his time at TCU. What he changed is the bruising he inflicted to his reputation. He made a huge mistake, which he regrets, and there is a consequence.

When I think of Trevone Boykin I will think of the guy who beat Baylor as a redshirt freshman, who led a last-second drive at West Virginia, who blew out Oklahoma State, who hung 70 on Texas Tech, who defeated Oklahoma in Fort Worth, who crushed Texas three times, who smashed Ole Miss and gutted out an OT win on a bad ankle in a monsoon over Baylor.

When I think of Boykin, I will think of that moment he had with the little girl from Iowa State that changed her life, for shaking Oklahoma State fans’ hands after an awful performance in Stillwater this year, and for earning his college degree a few weeks ago.

All of it was wonderful except a dumb decision that led to a terrible finale.

Listen to Mac Engel every Tuesday and Thursday on Shan & RJ from 5:30-10 a.m. on 105.3 The Fan.

Mac Engel: 817-390-7697, @macengelprof

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