Antonio Allen transfers to Indiana State

After dismissing Antonio Allen from his football program two months ago, Indiana coach Kevin Wilson sent the safety on his way with a succinct message.

Don’t give in and don’t give up.

Now, as Allen waits to face serious drug charges in Monroe County Court, the Indianapolis product has found a new home in Terre Haute. Indiana State announced Wednesday morning that Allen will transfer to its program and redshirt the upcoming season.

Allen was dismissed from IU’s football team on June 17 — one day after he was arrested by Indiana State Police on multiple drug charges. Allen is charged with dealing cocaine and dealing heroin of 10 or more grams — both Level 2 felonies, which carry a penalty of 10 to 30 years in prison if convicted. He’s also charged with dealing methamphetamine.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Allen can be seen on video counting money, weighing heroin and methamphetamine and handing the drugs to an Indiana State Police informant. According to court records, a jury trial in Monroe County Court is scheduled to begin Dec. 16.

Allen led IU with 74 tackles last season and finished as an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection. He was set to enter his junior season this fall as the face of Indiana’s defense.

Indiana State coach Mike Sanford told The Herald-Times that it was “a process” getting Allen into his program. He said it began through conversations with Allen’s Ben Davis coach, Mike Kirschner, and continued through talks with ISU administrators and members of the team’s leadership committee.

Kirschner said Allen started classes at the university on Wednesday and, as long as his physical and insurance clears, he will practice with the Sycamores on Thursday.

“We proceeded cautiously,” Sanford said. “I did a lot of research — we as a staff did a lot of research, talked to a lot of coaches from his past, both at IU and Ben Davis, talked to a bunch of players that know him who either played against him or knew him, or came out of school the same year as him that are in our program. Without going into detail, it allowed me to feel comfortable taking the next step.”

Sanford acknowledged the possibility that his ISU program could take a hit in the realm of public opinion, but indicated the ability to help Allen return to school and football outweighs the negativity.

The Sycamores coach said “it remains to be seen” whether Allen ever plays a single game for the program.

“To me, the motivation on this is about helping him, mentoring him and providing an opportunity for him to get his life back together,” Sanford said.

Speaking with reporters in Bloomington on Wednesday, Wilson said he spoke with Sanford “several weeks ago.” The two coaches discussed Allen’s arrest, his record as a student and as a player.

Wilson said he did not speak with Sanford after that initial conversation.

“When that deal happened I said (to Allen), ‘You went through a lot to get here — this is not a good deal — but you shouldn’t give in and give up,'” Wilson said. “‘If you would have given in, given up, you wouldn’t have been here in the first place. Moving forward, I just challenged him to not give in and give up.”

Allen arrived at IU as part of a heralded 2013 recruiting class that aimed to bring some of the best in-state talent to Bloomington. Allen originally committed to Ole Miss, but decommitted during the summer of 2012.

According to the Rivals recruiting database, Wilson has recruited only six four-star prospects in five years at Indiana. Allen was one of them.

“‘This is unfortunate, this is not good, but you’ve done some things that I respect, prior to this,'” Wilson said he told Allen at the time of his dismissal. “We’ll see where he goes with that in his life. We don’t wish him ill will. That doesn’t mean we like what happened, though.”


  1. How in the same heck is he going to play for another football team while he is in jail? Seriously?

  2. Rehabilitation vs. Imprisonment. As far as the whole concept surrounding this example of violent vs non violent offenses including seriousness of offenses and number of people in prison… all depends on how you choose to define our criminal justice system according to belief and value system. As a side note there appears to be involved collaboration relating to this case.

  3. Allen’s attorneys can surely get his trial delayed for over two years from the date of his arrest, so that would allow Allen enough time to redshirt the 2015/16, play for ISU during the 2016/17 season, and graduate in 2017 BEFORE facing trial and sentencing for his crimes.

    What a terrible cloud to have overhead as he finishes up his college career. During a time which should have provided conditions for exciting future dreams, Allen will be looking forward to significant imprisonment.

    Makes me ALMOST feel very sad for him……

  4. What a waste! A waste of opportunity, a waste of talent, a waste of support provided to him by so many, and a waste of potential for a great life.

  5. It’s not over until it’s is over. Yes @ IU it is over and his past actions are over equals what consequences will be implemented. Then, his actions from there.

  6. His case is such a sad story as I always want to see a person turn his life around. Allen however took all the support he was given and returned to the activities he took part in earlier in his life. There comes a point where a person decides to change or ends up sliding back into the gutter no matter how much help they get.

  7. i agree with everyone else. allen really wasted an opportunity that could have led to a prosperous career. doesn’t he realize he could have made a lot more dealing in bloomington than at isu?

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