Current, former IU football players arrested on drug charges

Two recent members of the Indiana University football team were arrested on felony drug charges Friday after Bloomington police executed a search warrant at a local residence.

Johnny Albomonte, a redshirt junior defensive back, and Thomas Henderson, a former IU defensive back from Bloomington, were both charged with dealing marijuana, a Level 6 felony, and maintaining a common nuisance, a Level 6 felony, Bloomington Police Department Capt. Steve Kellams said in an email.

According to Kellams, detectives with the BPD Special Investigations Unit began investigating the residence on the east side of Bloomington and purchased drugs on multiple occasions during the past month. Albomonte and Henderson each admitted to dealing marijuana, Kellams said.

“Approximately one pound of marijuana, THC wax, prescription drugs, and approximately $3,500 in U.S. currency was seized in the search,” Kellams said in the email. “Both subjects were booked into the Monroe County Jail.”

Albomonte, a walk-on, appeared in seven games for IU during the 2017 season, contributing primarily on special teams. The Schererville product was named IU’s scout team player of the week for his work leading into the Hoosiers’ Week 2 win at Virginia.

Henderson, a former team captain at Bloomington High School South, made his IU debut as a walk-on in the 2016 Foster Farms Bowl. Although he did not appear in any games last fall, Henderson was a two-time scout team player of the week during the 2017 season. In January, Henderson announced his retirement from football via social media.

Albomonte is still listed on IU’s roster. The team begins spring practice on Saturday.

“Indiana University Athletics and the IU football program are aware of the arrest of junior Johnny Albomonte,” read a statement provided by a department spokesperson. “We will continue to gather facts, monitor the legal process and take action as the evolving situation warrants.”


    1. Agree, and this should be a reminder to those who are significant to IU football program in case if anyone is tempted.

    2. Guess the 50’s were so nice, why leave.

      When I left Indiana and landed in California in 1965, massive cultural shock. Returning to Indiana briefly in 1971 resulted in another massive cultural shock. Had a neighbor who at 31 had never been more than 20 miles away from his house.

      1. I read some crazy statistics a few years ago that something like 42% of Americans had never traveled outside their home state.

        Can’t even imagine.

        I have a sister who ‘boasts’ about sitting in her car reading her mindless romance novel when they visited the Grand Canyon. I think she thought it made her sound hard to impress. I just thought she sounded like an idiot.

  1. Chet and t I am with both of you on this. Young men this age often think they will never be caught. I am ready for some real football news in the coming weeks.

  2. I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff in the last year going through the college football recruiting process but I just noticed that there are many, let me repeat that, many football players at IU that have been arrested over the last few years. My question for the IU program, do you not look at the character of your recruits before you offer them or just throw it on the wall and see what you get? Your results speak for themselves. And, your records still blow. Time to start over.

  3. I see Henderson posted on his tweeter feed that he is a retired football player. I guess the obvious next step was to deal drugs. What a dope!

  4. OMG! Selling marijuana?? The children! Hide them!

    More jail time for non-violent offenders. Keep those prisons full. Jeff Sessions is wetting his pants in overexcitement.

    1. I can’t remember the last time I heard of a marijuana bust. Some guy robbed a dispensary a couple years ago.

    2. OMG! Selling marijuana?? The children! Hide them!

      More jail time for non-violent offenders. Keep those prisons full. Jeff Sessions is wetting his pants in overexcitement.


      Yeah, I don’t get it. Wasn’t McRobbie’s son selling out of his dorm room (Wednesday, January 14, 2009)? Good luck finding the story now…It’s been purged from IDS and the Indy Star.

      And what if those former IU football players listed above were involved in the violent assault(the beating of an innocent kid on his front porch) that the Mellencamp brothers and Tracey Smith’s son were involved? How do you think the justice system in Monroe county would work for them? Think they would get years of delays and a quiet settlement? Would the be vehemently defended with their reputations guarded….or would they be branded as “thugs” in the same manner all former Sampson players ( who were labeled as “thugs”…though never sold drugs or committed any acts of violence)?

  5. BTW, as D-1 football players, I wonder where they got those prescriptions drugs from?

  6. Exactly, Chet. And Long Gone, as to your comment that “many football players at IU that have been arrested over the last few years,” as Gene McDaniels wrote (Eddie Harris/Les McCann version preferred) “Compared to What?” Other D1 programs? The whole point of athletic scholarships is to give chances at a college education to people that would not otherwise have a shot at one, which means people from the lower social orders. Who come from backgorunds and experiences a lot different than the vast majority of the student body. Screen ’em all you want, some will take advantage of the opportunity and some will squander it.

    When I was living in an IU dorm in the late seventies, a fellow student down the hall was selling pounds of pot (and some pills) and from time to time some IUBB players (at least one a starter) would come to party and do a little bidness. As one of ’em said, “Coach don’t care, just don’t get caught.” I can’t imagine that Coach “didn’t care,” but I got the impression Coach cared about the potential for scandal more than the offense per se. And yes, I did inhale, in case anyone was wondering. So forget about some golden age of IU choirboy student athletes.

    1. The whole point of athletic scholarships is to give chances at a college education to people that would not otherwise have a shot at one

      Not at all true…if you are listening to the many sports network talking heads defending those “student athletes” and coaches implicated in the FBI probe.

      A chance at a college education is fine but you must fairly compensate those 18-20 year old strangers to classrooms a slice of the huge profits and the giant pie. How can you look them straight in the eye while earning millions upon millions in television contracts, merchandise sales, ticket sales, etc, etc…while they merely get a scholarship? College basketball and football are systems of indentured servitude….abusing young men and women via refusing them any just equivalent measure of the dollars they bring to the university along with all fruits of marketing their efforts and gifts bring to sports as a whole.
      Strange how we’re so outraged by such hierarchical mirages in college athletics keeping all the dollars at the top of campus “organizations”…but there is nothing of the same backlash at corporations who have done the same for centuries. Are there not the same many injustices for the masses not of boardrooms and parachute packages who make the engines go…but rarely see anything of “profit sharing” or reasonable equivalencies in earnings distributions?
      I mean, what’s so un-American about the mirage of “amateur” sports organizations hoarding all the bucks at the top floor? If it’s good for the boardrooms then why an the hell shouldn’t it be good for college sports and universities in cahoots with major networks and apparel companies to keep all the profits at the top?
      Most students have to pay for all their days of college tuition and living expenses….They walk away from campuses with their mighty degrees in massive debt(decades if not lifetimes of debt) only to face the same hierarchical abuses in the corporate world that, outside of a select few(those who make it to the NBA of the corporate world), forever functions out of the mix of the “real money”….and out of any just slice of hoarded profits kept by the 1%.
      There is nothing un-American in Tom Crean making 30 million while Hanner Perea gets cast aside as a drunken teenager who squandered his scholarship opportunity. What did the financial crisis teach us the Dow Jones soars above 25,000? Did it teach us to be fair and just? Did it teach us to truly value anyone working their tail off for a pittance of the gold stored for pharaohs and CEO’s…and college coaches…and AD’s…and ESPN executives?

        1. Sorry, Harv, true it is. Or maybe I should have used the term “justification” instead of “point.” The value of a college education is, in fact, how big-time sports can get away with not paying the players, as you point out. I happen to agree with you on coaches making millions and players getting peanuts. Players get some complementary ducats, great, but if they trade ’em for some tatoos, well, hello NCAA investigation costing millions. It used to be (maybe still is) at ND that all full-time students automatically got season tickets to the football games, and there sure was an aftermarket in S. Bend for those babies. Nobody had to sit out the next three chemistry classes if they got caught selling their own tickets.

          1. I honestly don’t believe players should be compensated beyond scholarships and a reasonable sum for food and expenses.

            Most of the world is full of unjust pay scales… I prefer repairing the inequities of servitude for most of the 12 hr/day ‘average Joe’s’ enduring institutionalized economic ceilings built to repress the majority while enriching boardrooms.

            Athletes do have their very slim chances to make it into professional levels where they will be compensated far more than most lawyers, brain surgeons, CEO’s, airline pilots, tech wizards, software engineers, renowned architects, best-selling authors, and so on…and so on.

            I believe most with a dream to play at the highest levels understood the slim odds at a very early age. With each passing decade, the “me” focus of college athletics continues down the narcissistic road and narcissistic purpose. The NBA has so influenced the process, that rosters are fractured between future “next level” talent and ho-hum role players who won’t sniff the million before the first tip-off of the first game. It’s beyond a challenge to build a humble group to operate as a team. We immediately devalue 2/3 a roster while treating like gods those who will be on draft boards.

            Pay them? How much? How much for the nobodies who will never sniff the professional levels of the game…? But at the end of the day, it’s really those who never make it to the biggest individual dreams somehow remain most endearing to the hearts of all the downtrodden ….The fall short but give us hope in their roles and their intangible value that somehow keeps all the gears working for a team. And our answer to corrupt money under the table for the prima donnas is to devalue the humble leaders and role players who will never make SportCenter’s nightly highlight show?

            How low do we lower the age for the prima donnas….Will we soon see determining market value for an athlete before ever stepping foot on campus?

            What a sh__ show it’s all become…

    2. Davis, great reference to the phenomenal Les McCann and Eddie Harris! “Compared to What” is a great song!

  7. davis, good points and too many want to paint college students as pure as ….. They hold athletes to a higher standard but don’t have any clue about the background of the players. Many forget about their exploits as college students or even as adults with mind altering substances. I never used any drugs but that was more to my imagination that gave me what others used drugs to do. I coached low income players for a number of years taking them home and getting to know their situations. I wanted them to always make good choices but the life they had made that very difficult even for the strongest. I don’t excuse drug use but I also am not shocked when it crops up in the news and with programs. I guess when you serve overseas you are exposed to things most in “polite” society never see.

    1. Not to mention that these guys have a much tougher schedule than the overwhelming majority of students, especially freshmen. They must devote a lot of time to their sport.

      My daughter competed at a school that did not award athletic scholarships so she also had a handful of part time jobs, as well. I don’t believe I could have maintained her pace.

      People tend to remember their college years as carefree. At $40k a year those days are long gone.

  8. Chet, good point and one thing most don’t know is scholarship athletes aren’t allowed to take on jobs while school is in session. I am glad the IU and some others are giving stipends to athletes to cover expense for food and clothes. When I was in college and worked at a bar we had athletes working under fake names for cash to not cancel their scholarships.

    1. v-13, there is indeed a ban on student athletes holding jobs, but not (as I recall) while school is in session, but rather in the same semester their sport is in session. Which really is a killer for wrestlers and others whose sports were in season both semesters. Chet, you are right on about the demands on the time of student athletes. And not only has tuition gone sky-high, it seems like admission standards at places such as IU have really gotten higher, too, compared to EEGADS, WAS IT REALLY FORTY YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE!!!!!

      I’d also like to add that it’s not only scholarship athletes that sometimes squander a chance at a college education; I knew a few kids at IU who were from (what seemed to me like) fairly privileged backgrounds who proved themselves not to be college material, and it certainly wasn’t due to an impoverished background. An neglected background, maybe, but certainly not an impoverished one.

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