Bud Mackey arrested on drug trafficking charges

Chris Howell | Herald-Times

Click here to read the official HeraldTimesOnline.com story. 


Bud Mackey, who was the first player to verbally commit to Indiana for the 2008 basketball class, has been arrested in Scott County, Kentucky for allegedly possessing and intending to distribute crack cocaine. He was also charged with trafficking within 1,000 yards of a school. The senior was booked at 5:25 p.m. today after being arrested at school, and is charged with two felonies.

Herald-Times reporter Bethany Nolan has spoken with the police in Scott County and is writing a story for our web page now. I’ll link to that story when it is posted.

NCAA rules prohibit coaches or members of the athletic department from commenting on high school athletes until they have signed a letter of intent. Mackey would have been able to do that in November.

It seems unlikely that he will have a chance to do that now.

More on this story as it develops.


  1. What a shame… I find it hard to believe that someone from IU did not do some due dilligence on Mackey or any recruit… There had to be some warning signs of someone at risk like this.

  2. Please tell me cheyennemtnman that you would not lay this in the lap of “someone from IU ” . That comment would lead us to believe that every coach in America knows what each and every prospective HS player is doing and what company they are keeping . PLEASE !!!!

  3. Wow, disappointing on so many levels. Seriously… not simply possession of an illegal substance (which would be terrible in its own right, but hopefully correctable with couseling, etc.) but possession with intent to distribute!?! Granted I obviously don’t know the kid, but every indication/report suggested he was a pretty stand-up type – not to mention that he was a tremendous (many even said underrated) talent.

    I’d like to believe “it all must be a mistake”, but there really isn’t any reason to ‘frame’ the guy. Looks like instead of proving his skills on IUs court, he’ll be spending a double felony charge in a Kentucky prison.

    Like I said, disappointing in many, many ways.

  4. Come on cheyennemtnman, Mackey has NEVER been in any trouble before this. How was the coaching staff supposed to predict that Bud would be arrested for cocaine charges??? I am shocked. Bud seemed like such a great kid.

  5. Bill and IU Jimmy
    Did not say IU had any responsibility in this matter… They can not do much till the player is signed ; I am just saying this just does not happen over night… there had to be some warning signs of Bud being at risk…

    Scout.com had one of his negatives as Value Judgements… whatever that means…
    Secondly… I think when you are recruiting a player and they have given a verbal, due dilligence is in order such as interviews with people other than coaches… After all They are ambassadors of IU…

  6. To Bill and IU Jimmy especially – don’t you guys realize that the credibility of IU’s program is at stake here. Cheyenne is absolutely correct. There are always warning signs in a case like this. No 17 or 18 year old kid can hide the fact he is heavily into marijuana or crack cocaine. All it would have taken is a good background check and/or an observant person regarding who his friends were, his speech patterns and language, and so on. Do be able to spot this kind of trouble is not rocket science, for goodness sakes. Whatever the cost to monitor a player’s behavior before signing them would have been cheap compared to what this incident is going to cost in terms of damaging IU’s and Sampson’s credibility. Do you think the parents of a Christian kid, for example, will want their kid coming to IU, which now obviously doesn’t even recognize the personality, attitudes, friends and habits of a possible crack cocaine dealer. Wake up fellows!!

  7. Mackey will likely never play at IU, so I think you are overreacting Bill. Is a “Christian kid” going to sit back and say “Wow, a recruit that never played at IU got arrested. I better not go there.” ? I don’t think so.

    And as far as monitoring his behavior, he had NEVER been in any trouble. Are we supposed to hire the FBI to follow him around all day? This is an unfortunate incident, but IU basketball will survive. And Hopefully Mackey turns his life around.

  8. HA! There should be checks done, Bud isn’t the “all around kinda guy”. If you’ve been able to relate with him at school, you’d know that. He screwed up big time, and it serves him right. This isn’t a one time thing, it’s reoccurring. As a 2008 graduate, I’ve been with him for the past 3 years and it’s been all the same. He, frankly, isn’t the only one at SCHS with these types of problems.

  9. Bill South , You do not think that Sampson spoke to his HS coach , Bill Hicks ? Of course he did . If you were Sampson please tell me how you would know this kid is dealing crack with the limited time that Sampson recruited him ? “Speech patterns” ? What in the world does that mean ? Many times we see teens and adults dressed like what many people would call freaks but do you label them “druggies” or :thugs” because of the way they look or sound ? Come on , expand your horizons !

  10. Bill South , One other thing . You need to read Jody Demling’s recruiting blog at the Courier-Journal and see if after speaking to Mackey on different occasions if he picked up any negative vibes with Bud’s “speech patterns” .

  11. Sorry, Bill, but I know enough about this subject to know that I’m correct in theory even if my words are not expressing exactly what I want to convey. And who is Jody Demling in regards to street smarts anyways? Did you read “person’s” post? He is obviously agreeing with me and saying the signs were indeed there. Maybe it’s you who need to expand your horizons, sir!
    And as far as IU Jimmy is concerned, no, I wasn’t suggesting hiring the FBI. On the contrary, I was suggesting that IU hire someone who knows something about how to spot a “wrong” dude. I guess I had Tyler Zeller in mind in thinking that after this incident, his parents will not want him coming to IU if the coaching staff = total staff is no more aware than this. Could be wrong about TZ, but not about the larger issue involved in this incident.
    Again, reread “person’s” post if you want proof of what I am saying IU should have known. Thanks for your honesty, person.

  12. Cheyen—

    Did you rip Bobby for doing any “due diligence” when he took a kid that hi-jacked a car?

    I mean, Knight took this kid AFTER the crime had happened.

    Bud had never been in trouble before. And I doubt he was selling anything (if he had anything, they go by weight and just call it distribution if it’s over a certain amount…….even if he wasn’t selling it).

    Knight also took kids that had shady pasts and even let kids busted for pot smoking on the team. And the worshippers never complained once.

    Heck, Bob even hired the biggest cheater the game ever saw…….and not one word from the Bob is God crowd.

    So save your phony concern about IU’s image.

  13. Bill South–

    Jay Edwards was the biggest pot head in Indiana and Knight took him anyway. And the “Christians” didn’t care because he had a sweet jump shot.

  14. Bill South , Someone posts under the name “person” , and this makes him or her credible ? I don’t think so . I could say that I was close to the situation , you or anyone could state that , so what ! That means NOTHING ! I guess that because he agrees with you , that makes it gospel . Again….NO ! Also , please enlighten me to all of your knowledge of this subject . I am all ears . One last note , I would give Jody Demling a ton more credibility than someone who signs their post “person”.

  15. ok, so i’m from Scott County (Georgetown) where the arrest was made and i graduated from Scott County High School and didn’t necessarily know Bud at a personal level but i know that the way he acted didn’t really seem like the druggy type. there were never really any “warning” signs, but i do have friends who know him and have/do hang out with him and they’ve all told me that within the past year he started hanging out with the wrong crowd. he had never gotten into any trouble, ever, he has no criminal record, and he didn’t really even ever get in trouble at school. I also work with someone that lives across the street from him and she said that she had talked to his mom about it a few weeks ago, his mom said that he’d started hanging out with the wrong crowd and they tried to bring his grandparents in to straighten him out and everything. he has this girl that he’s not neccessarily dating that he hangs out with a lot and he told her right before it happened that he had a bad idea about the situation, he was afraid that he was gonna get caught having it, someone was wanting him to sell it.

    and in response to Bill South’s assumption; “There are always warning signs in a case like this. No 17 or 18 year old kid can hide the fact he is heavily into marijuana or crack cocaine. ” get your facts straight before you say that someone is “heavily into marijuana or crack cocaine” because he actually doesn’t do crack cocaine, and i’ve only heard of a few occasions where he has smoked marijuana

  16. So hi there Micah. Now let me get this straight. You “don’t necessarily know Bud at a personal level”…..but you somehow know that “he actually doesn’t do crack cocaine, and i’ve only heard of a few occasions where he has smoked marijuana”.

    You call these FACTS that you are telling me to get my facts straight. Have you ever heard of the pot calling the kettle black, Micah?? LOL. I tell you what, Micah, you should do. You should real quick find out who Bud’s lawyer is, call him, and tell him to have Bud drug tested. Cause, in my opinion, if what your second hand rumors tell you is true, then Bud may have been set up regarding the crack possession. Perhaps a sophisticated enough and comprehensive drug test might prove that Bud NEVER smoked crack cocaine. Or at least that he has not in the recent past smoked crack.

    That would help prove he was set up, don’t you think? And that might make the crack possession with intent to distribute charge go away. And obviously this is a super serious charge. People here and elsewhere are speculating that he won’t go to IU and this or that, but he may go to prison over this charge. Isn’t that correct?

    Run along now and make that call if you think it would help Bud. Because he is going to need the best help his lawyer can give him. And I doubt there are very many Johnny Cochran’s in Scott County, Kentucky.

    And yes, Bill, perhaps “person’s” post is not real. But Jody is just a basketball junkie writer. Does that make him street smart. He idolizes 15-18 year old basketball players. Sure, I give him a ton of credibility for that sort of behavior.

  17. Bill South , He “idolizes” them ?? That is his JOB ! His job is to report on these schools and the athletes that play there . To say that he “idolizes” them is absurd . The point was he spoke to Bud on several occasions and did not recognize “voice patterns” , whatever the he* * that is . Remember that was the point YOU were attempting to make .

  18. Speaking of “what will the Christians think”, most of them wanted Alford, aka Wonder Boy, to coach at IU even after he let a rapist come back to his team at Iowa.

    I guess since Wonder Boy is also “super Christian”, they didn’t care.

  19. The news out of Scott County is that this arrest was planned and the police had been watching Bud Mackey for sometime. Reportedly he was arrested with 8 rocks of crack cocaine and an ounce of marijuana.
    Also, he flirted with the idea of transferring to Oak Hill Academy as it is unlikely he would be academically elegible to play for IU next season. He backed away from transferring when Oak Hill insisted he would have to go to class and study. Unfortunately for Bud, his own judgement failed him and led to his demise.

  20. Laffy! Come on now do not compare the two situations…
    Drug usage and activities always have signs… and if you read this article you can see there were signs available. http://www.georgetownnews.com/articles/2007/09/30/sports/sports03.txt
    What information do you have that he has not been doing drugs or not been in any kind of trouble?
    A few questions to people in the know would have alerted that troubles might have been obscured from a cursory view…
    There is no phoniness in stating the obvious… I have no problem with examining the facts and then making a decision… waiting for the facts to come out will be important… I am just saying a little inquiry here and there will provide information to the coaching staff and compliance office so there will be no surprises…

  21. Bill South,
    Yes, you’re right – no christian would want their kid attending a university that neglected to judge (just as they might be judged) or forgave (as someone once forgave our sins). We’re talking about a kid who’s been treated like a little god for several years because he happens to be a gifted basketball player who is the object of desire for the major universities in the area. Now, he’s hit the bottom – let him sort out his life and wish him the best when he learns that he is indeed responsible for his own actions. And let’s not use his sad story as a platform for our own self-serving agendas.

  22. Bill, ok, whatever. To the Ghost: I have tried to understand what you are saying, but I cannot decipher it. Whatever you think my agenda is, I believe you are wrong. And the way you put the forgiveness thing is just pitiful. As if IU is other than a self serving, money grubbing monster with NO conscience.

    If there were any agenda here for me it would be the hypocrisy of the entire system. If there were no Bud Mackey’s for IU to recruit, then the economically disadvantage, academically worthy, potential college students out there in our society might just have a reasonable chance at a college education. As things are, the potential normal student has to go into stupendous debt to “purchase” his/her education today. One of the reasons this is true: runaway budgets involving, in part, absurd coaches salaries and athletic budgets. Do you have any idea what the group of volleyball coaches at IU, just for one small example, earn in salary or what that budget is?

    Or how about the entire football program, coaches salaries and the total budget? Now this is something I do have an agenda about. If it were up to me, ALL sports would be club sports and Kelvin Sampson’s salary would be commensurate with his true abilities, which are enormously overrated and he is overpayed to the Nth degree under our present system with its distorted and warped values and priorities.

    Forgive me, please. I did not mean to belittle the tragic sitiuation that Bud Mackey finds himself in.

  23. Excuse me, but my post is real. I have ACTUALLY had class with Bud not just known who he is. Being with him day in and day out during class you hear things (and see things) a typical SCHS student wouldn’t.

  24. Yes Bill – that’s IT – but if you insist..lol…I enjoy Jody’s blog too, so I shouldn’t have used him as a scapegoat for my frustrations. And I used very poor words to describe how you might know that a person is doing crack/marijuana, etc. I do think there are indications, though. Most if not all 17-18 year olds are under too much peer pressure and have too much ego not to give themselves away in some fashion.

    I agree with Cheyenne’s latest post. There are indications in almost every case when a YOUNG man indulges in this lifestyle. And IU’s staff would be well-advised to do a little digging next time. Person is a real person, I have no doubt, and he KNEW. Why didn’t IU’s staff know? They had too much at stake not to know. They should have.

    And did you read Chester’s post, Bill? I understand Chester to mean that the police had Bud on their radar for a while and that they had an ongoing investigation, which may (I am speculating a bit here) have included knowledge of prior distribution. C’mon, if he really did have 8 rocks it probably wasn’t just for show. This is just a message board and we all have our own opinions, but the subjects contained have been very important ones. Just one last thing. If you want to read a little more about this in a newspaper, the Lexington Herald (if I recall right) had a better article than any other I’ve seen. Nice discussing things with you Bill. Take care.

  25. Bill South , I wholeheartedly agree that peer pressure among young adults is a very powerful force . Having worked in a public school for nearly 10 years , I have witnessed this first hand . My point was that in some cases , not all , that there are no warning signs . If his HS coach appears shocked and stunned , (which seems to be the case) , how could we expect Sampson to be privy to such info . I also agree that Sampson and staff need to dig deep on every potential recruit , which I am confident they do . There are some things and some people that simply slip through the cracks . One thing for certain is , I hope that Bud turns this mess into a positive and positions himself to be a great success in whatever he chooses to do in life . Good talking to you also !

  26. as a student of scott county high school and friend of bud’s i would like to take this tim to give a personal perspective on bud mackey…ive known bud for around 7 years and ive come to learn that he really is a stand up guy…hes the type of guy who will give you the shirt off his back…granted he has made a mistake he without a doubt deserves a chance at redemtion..

  27. mackey was and still is one of the best players in the state by far.. its a shame that hes done this to himself! Im a highschool student and have played against BUD for many years now and he didnt seem like the type of guy to do this. He seemed very respectable on and off the court. I dont understand why he would do this. It cant be the money factor because with his talents and ablilites it and the work of Coach Sampson he could have been a huge star being drafted in the 2nd or even the 1st round of the NBA draft. Very big waist of talent and bad case of bad judgement on his part!! Good Luck in the future though BUD im pulling for you. Keep your head up and dont quit!

  28. Look there are some thnigs that need to be made clear about Bud Mackey…for everyone who doesnt know bud personally first off let me say that he is by far one of the most respectible people i have ever met…he demonstrates a type of outgoing personabilty that is rare in these times…true he has made a mistake but havent we all?…and true it was a serious mistake but theres much more to the story then what is being told…furthermore if you want to teach him a lesson then go for but dont take away his oppurtunity for success…just because he made a mistake, no matter how serious it is it doesnt mean that he should have his shot of being a successful and productive member of society ruined…if coach sampson decides to give him a second chance then thats wonderfull but if not then i truly hope that someone realizes his potential and gives him a chance to make something of it…we’re all pullin for you bud…

  29. man Bud is a good kid and a hell of an athlete my boy was just at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people if he gets out of this he’ll bounce back and if indiana dont take him then thats there lose hopefully he’ll end up at uk or something….hang in there big dog were all pullin for ya down in the County

  30. “Do be able to spot this kind of trouble is not rocket science, for goodness sakes.”

    Bill South — I agree — anyone who speaks like this MUST be on crack. Did you make this statement within 1000 yards of a school? Felony attempt to distribute crack charges should be coming your way.

  31. “To the Ghost: I have tried to understand what you are saying, but I cannot decipher it. ”

    He was using sarcasm — strike two against you as far as being a druggie since your ability to understand English and recognize sarcasm in reply to the “Christian” question is a clear sign to me as an English teacher that you have something affecting your cognitive skills.

    I was also a coach of HS kids, and as far as Bud’s guilt in usage, it seems the kids such as “person” who are posting here at trying to make it obvious to those of you who don’t know any better. Adults, especially coaches, see an entirely different side of a kid than do other kids — particularly kids who are close enough to spend time with the kid.

    Warning signs? To coaches, teachers, and administrators, those usually take the form of a kid’s physical behaviour changing — such as falling asleep in class or having glassy eyes, etc. Unless Bud was stupid and using during school, they did not see that much, so they would not know. The other way they would “know” is if the kid was busted at a party — and that can just include being caught AT a party where stuff is going on. If that does not happen, there can be a LOT of people who know the warning signs without the coaches and school officials knowing about them.

    I am taking from the comments made by apparent kids who are/were classmates of this kid that he is basically a good kid who has screwed up and made a mistake. How it goes from here, I have no idea, but as far as anyone looking to take shots at Sampson over this, need I remind you of some names of Knight recruits over the years? Edwards was mentioned, but what about Baker? Tolbert — he turned out quite well? Wilkerson — he didn’t? Did not one of IU’s recruits/players have a SERIOUS issue with alcohol? Isn’t said player now in consideration as the replacement for the current coach at Texas Tech? Would not said current coach have had SOME indication that THAT player might have had a problem?

    This last bit is for any of the holier-than-thou folks who want to say Knight would never have given Mackey a second look.

  32. i go to school with bud. i think very highly of him. he is a good kid and no he didnt make the best decision. sure it would be great if everything works out and he gets to play ball again. but what is that telling the rest of the sthletes and kids? if you make a mistake everything will be okay? no, its not right. as much as i want bud back in school and back on the court, its not the right think to do. and i will be very disappointed with our school if it does happen.

  33. i went to school with bud hes a nice dude but he did have lack of judgement alot of us as in friends told him to stop but he wouldnt. but i still hear hes goin to IU at least thats the scott county rumor.

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