University of Kentucky Sued By James Paxton

December 3, 2009

According to a New York Times blog post Kentucky pitcher James Paxton is suing Kentucky.  Here’s the story by Katie Thomas:

The University of Kentucky’s ace pitcher sued the university in state court Wednesday, charging that athletic officials threatened to bar him from playing if he did not agree to meet with N.C.A.A. investigators, even though he was not told what rules he was accused of violating.

James Paxton (UK Photo)

James Paxton (UK Photo)

The left-hander James Paxton returned to Kentucky for his senior year after he decided not to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays, who selected him 37th over all in the 2009 amateur draft. In his lawsuit, Paxton said a university official told him in October to meet with an N.C.A.A. investigator, but instructed him not to tell his parents or his lawyers about the interview. Paxton also said that Kentucky’s athletic director, Mitch Barnhart, told him that he would not be allowed to play on the team until he submitted to the interview. Paxton said he has never been told the nature of the allegations against him.DeWayne Peevy, a spokesman for Kentucky’s athletic department, declined to comment but said the university was aware of the lawsuit.

Paxton’s lawyer, Richard Johnson, filed a similar lawsuit last year on behalf of another college pitcher, Andrew Oliver of Oklahoma State. Oliver sued the N.C.A.A. and later settled after a judge found that the association’s ban on the use of lawyers during negotiations with professional teams violated the law in Ohio, Oliver’s home state.

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