Paxton response to UK cites Student Code of Conduct



Attorneys for senior pitcher James Paxton filed a reply Tuesday to the university’s response for Paxton’s motion for an injunction in his suit with UK.

In the reply, Paxton’s attorneys argued their client’s rights as a student were violated under the Student Code of Conduct, and that he is not a member of the NCAA. According to the reply, colleges, universities and athletic conferences are members.

Paxton’s attorneys believe their client, under the Code, had a right to be informed of the allegations the NCAA had brought against him before asking him to submit to an interview, and that he does not have to submit to an interview if he is not informed of the allegations against him beforehand.

The reply also states Paxton should still be allowed to play baseball until he is informed of the allegations against him, although the university claims a right to withhold an athlete from competition if he has “unresolved eligibility questions.”

The issues surrounding Paxton’s eligibility appear to come from his relationship with Scott Boras, a high-profile MLB agent who represents MLB superstars Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez, among others.

Under NCAA rules, amateur athletes are allowed to consult advisers during the negotiation process, but the advisers are not allowed to be in contact with the professional team. According to an Aug. 18 newspaper article included in UK’s 87-page response, Toronto Blue Jays interim president Paul Beeston said Boras negotiated with the team after Paxton was taken with the 37th overall pick in baseball’s 2009 amateur draft.

One of Paxton’s lawyers, Richard G. Johnson, told the Kernel in a phone interview on Dec. 4 that neither Paxton nor Boras can be forced to disclose whether Boras negotiated for Paxton, because it would be a violation of the attorney-client privilege.

Paxton, a senior, was set to become the Cats ace and to lead the pitching staff for UK head coach Gary Henderson. Paxton finished last year with a 5-3 record and a 5.86 earned run average. The left-hander won the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week award once after beating Ole Miss in 2008.

The next court date for the case is set for Jan. 15, 2010.