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Kentucky’s James Paxton Case Update for December 4th


As I reported on early Thursday morning about senior Kentucky pitcher James Paxton and his lawsuit against the University of Kentucky. Here is a brief run down of the events in this case from the court documents which are linked below. I highly recommend reading the response from Kentucky which gives a much more in depth breakdown of the events.


UK Senior Associate Athletic Director Sandy Bell was contacted on September 11th 2009 by Chance Miller who is the Assistant Director of Agent, Gambling, and Amateurism Activities for the NCAA.

Miller and Bell set up an interview with Paxton for October 1st but the meeting was canceled due to James getting sick. Ms. Bell informed James that he could not discuss the potential interview with his parents because they could also be brought in for an interview. Paxton’s complaint states that Bell also told him not to talk to an attorney while the Kentucky response states the total opposite. On October 12th, Peter Ostermiller informed Sandy Bell that he was representing Paxton now. Mr. Ostermiller and Chance Miller set up a meeting for October 28th and also informed Bell to stop contacting James Paxton and his father.

Mr. Ostermiller sent an email on October 26th two days before the scheduled meeting that he was not aware of the charges that Paxton was facing as it was important to his client. Ostermiller canceled the meeting with Miller on October 27th after a phone conversation into the reason for the meeting. Mr. Miller responded to the phone conversation by given him a written response on November 2nd. Kentucky at this time provided James Paxton, his father, and his counsel all information concerning the interview request.

On November 16th, Mr. Ostermiller reiterated his email from October 26th. Ms. Bell responded back the same day with the “NCAA Interview Policies for Division 1 and 2.” In the policy, it states that an interview is to decide whether there is an issue in the case.

On November 18th, Mr. Ostermiller made an open records request which was responded to by Kentucky on November 23rd.

On December 2nd, Paxton filed for a temporary injunction resulting in the cancellation of the interview that was scheduled for December 3rd.

Complaint and Petition for Declaration of Rights

Plaintiff’s (James Paxton) Motion for an Injunction

Memorandum in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Injunction

Notice of Hearing

Defendant’s (Kentucky) Response to Plaintiff’s Motion for Injunction

UPDATE: Richard Johnson says the following about Kentucky’s Response:

UK filed its response late this afternoon to our client’s motion for a temporary injunction, and we will be filing a reply to the same early next week:  Until then, look at what UK did NOT deny therein, which is telling.    

What I can respond to right now is the UK Athletic Department’s press release statement:  "Contrary to several media reports, James Paxton’s scholarship money and status on the team has never been in jeopardy. At no time has a change been made in James’ status on the team or his receipt of services available to student-athletes. He was, is and will continue to be a member of the University of Kentucky baseball team."    

Let’s break this down:

1.     "James Paxton’s scholarship money and status on the team has never been in jeopardy."  REALLY.  James does not have a scholarship but a grant-in-aid, which is dependent upon him maintaining his athletic eligibility, and as of yesterday, in a meeting between myself and my co-counsel and James with UK’s outside counsel, general counsel, athletic director, and assistant athletic director, we were told on-the-record that James, while still  eligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics, would be withheld from such participation, unless and until he submitted to an NCAA interrogation, but that they were not "suspending or disciplining" him, since no allegations had been made against him and no findings had been made against him.  Amazing double-speak, huh?    

2.     "At no time has a change been made in James’ status on the team or his receipt of services available to student-athletes."  REALLY.  Let’s see, if UK’s lead pitcher is not allowed to play intercollegiate baseball, isn’t that a "change" in his "status."  How dishonest can a press release be?    

3.     "He was, is and will continue to be a member of the University of Kentucky baseball team."  WELL ISN’T THAT SPECIAL.  And what does that mean?  If the number one student-athlete on the team can’t play, when he’s physically and mentally able to play, exactly what does membership on the team actually mean?

We should see how Richard Johnson’s response is handled on Monday when Johnson will be filing his rebuttal.

  • Charlie

    What I find most disturbing is the UK telling a student athlete not to tell his parents or legal representation about the interview. Despite that fact that the rule allowing for the interview permits legal representation. The UK put the NCAA first and it’s student athlete at risk.
    If the interview goes forward I am sure the representatives for Mr. Paxton will insist on it being recorded with camera’s on the NCAA rep’s and Mr. Paxton.
    If Mr.Beeston is correct, than Mr. Boras may have cost Mr. Paxton his Senior Year. Unless Mr. Johnson can get an “Oliver” ruling in Kentucky.

  • Charlie,

    The other issue in this case is the Kentucky Student Conduct policy which says you UK has to make the students aware of the charges against them.

  • Charlie, I suspect you know this already, but regarding “may have cost Mr. Paxton his Senior Year”: Paxton was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 37th round, but chose to return to UK instead.

  • Bob,

    Your incorrect as Paxton was the 37th overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft.

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