Bud Mackey speaks

Chris Howell | Herald-TimesFormer Indiana recruit Bud Mackey, who is now incarcerated as he awaits trial on drug trafficking charges, spoke to the Lexington Herald-Leader recently.

It’s worth a read. Mackey’s story is an important chapter in the sociology book that has been written by happenings in Indiana’s basketball program the past few years.

And given the recent news about O.J. Mayo, it’s hard not to wonder what would have happened if an agent had given Mackey $30,000. He probably wouldn’t be where he is today.


  1. No you are probably right. He would probably be dead or doing far more time if he could have gotten his hands on that kind of money. Introducing money into an already-troubled kid and situation would only magnify the scope of the problems in the end. I dont think he had the mindset that he was in any way going to be able to use money like that in a positive fashion.

    I dont know. Good luck to him.

  2. I see your point, Caleb. But I also see that Mackey did what he did, at least in part, because of his family’s lack of money. That put him in a situation to be near the drug trade and to see some people succeed — to whatever extent you can call that success — by slinging rocks. If you’ve followed the Mayo situation closely, you’ve read the accusations that he, too, was involved in dealing drugs at one point. Eli Holman has talked about selling drugs in the past, and countless other pro athletes have talked about making it out of the cauldron that swallows too many young men and women each year that don’t have it as easy as I did.

    And I see the point that will inevitably be made that Mackey threw away a dream life playing college basketball at Indiana. To me, that’s sad and inconceivable. But I grew up in a family that provided me three square meals each day, new sneakers before each school year and an abundance of unconditional love and support. Bud? Well, he had a different story.

    How could we have any clue what Bud Mackey’s mindset was at the time he was arrested? His whole family was struggling to make it financially and it hardly seems out of the question that he would have used some of the money to help them out.

    Besides, police think that because Mackey was acting as a mule for the drugs he probably got nothing more than a marijuana blunt out of the deal.

    I should point out here that at least a few of Indiana’s impermissible calls to recruits were actually made to Mackey after he committed. Indiana’s coaching staff had received word that Mackey was falling in with the wrong crowd and his grades were slipping. They were trying to reach out to him, but because he shuffled between the homes of his mother, grandparents and a cousin — as well as some coaches and friends, on occasion — he was difficult to find.

  3. Its a real shame. The kid had some potential and probably still does. I am sure Clyde will give him some looks at UK. Maybe being close to home will help him have some people around him that care or perhaps it will keep the trouble around. I would venture to guess that both will be the case at some point in his possible collegiate career if he stays close to home. As you said, a lot of these kids have problems off the court. Or maybe perhaps it just seems that way because of the kinds of kids that Sampson was willing to sign. With seemingly little care for how their off the court behavior would translate to further problems once they were introduced to Sampson’s lack of discipline approach and placed into an environment where they were instant focal points on campus, in the community, and in the state.

    So many things feel so different now in the Hooiers program. Losing coaches, losing scholarships, losing patience. We have run the gauntlet of ultimate highs and ultimate lows this decade within the program. We never used to have the Homlman or Mackey type of things happen and now it seems almost commonplace. Losing kids for reasons like this is not something I will ever be able to just shrug off. Its not the way its supposed to work and its got to stop with Coach Crean.

  4. Just watch … that $30,000 is gonna turn into much closer to $300,000 before this whole A.J. Mayo thing is done.

    Thirty thousand dollars? That’s the same as nothing. No way was it just $30,000 or even $100,000. There’s just no way.

    With Mackey and IU … it’s hardly worth a footnote in IU history since not only did he never enroll or play here … he never got close to signing a LOI. It was just a verbal from a junior one year from making it official.

    How much of the Mayo mess falls back on USC will be interesting. Even if his recruitment failed the “smell test” (and it surely did) … the NCAA reviewed and approved it. So while I believe game forfeitures will surely result … I don’t see a long-term (2 year+) NCAA probation. I think the NCAA has to take some of the blame for not checking out the obvious one-and-done players better. It appears they did very little checking on Mayo who not only changed colleges but changed high schools and even states at will. It was always obvious that “handlers” were involved from very early on… and the NCAA let it slide during their investigation. If the NCAA said “he’s clean” why shouldn’t USC have felt some security in enrolling him. The harder the NCAA is on USC the more they will look like hypocrites themselves in this matter.

  5. Motivatortom, why should the NCAA take blame for not checking out Mayo? That is USC’s responsibility. They turned a blind eye to what was going on, not the NCAA. The NCAA’s job now, should be to see what exactly happened and determine some type of punishment… Compared to Sampson’s violations, this seems much worse.

    The same thing happened with Reggie Bush. All of these allegations of being payed and recieving gifts sound about the same. No punishment was handed out then, so it’s time for the NCAA to do something! There’s no way Indiana should be penalized if USC is getting off the hook.

  6. Here’s a direct quote from none other than the “king” of the NCAA, Myles Brand… “We are not the cops on the corner,” Brand said. “The schools themselves have the responsibility to follow the rules and that means, and includes, separating agents from interfering with student-athletes.”

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