Texas Christian University quarterback Casey Pachall's recent
suspension due to alcohol abuse has drawn attention to a growing
trend among college athletes.
Pachall's arrest came eight months after he admitted to police
that he smoked marijuana and failed a drug test just two weeks
before his roommate was arrested in a drug sting operation. He was
previously arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
At the time of Pachall's suspension, he was fifth in the nation
in passing efficiency.
Dave Ferguson, host of "Beyond the
Cheers," contends the number of students with drug and alcohol
issues has reached critical proportions, as the pressure to succeed
in college sports often pushes student athletes into substance
"I think the higher up the ladder you get of being ripe for the
picking for perhaps a … career, the more stresses and pressures are
laid upon the athlete," he offers. "So they do whatever's necessary
to make in their own mind what will get them to that level of
performing better than they are currently."
Though a large majority of students have not used banned drugs,
a study released by the NCAA earlier this year shows use of social
drugs and alcohol has increased since 2005, with 83.1 percent of
respondents admitting to drinking alcohol in the previous 12
"Given that some of the culture of colleges and universities
does have a mix of substance abuse and use, players unfortunately
succumb to that a little quicker than an average student would,"
The NCAA's report also showed 38.8 percent of respondents
reported consuming six or more drinks in a single sitting.