Green excepts to be tendered contract; Downs declines arbitration; UK AD calls for baseball facility improvements

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Sean Green; Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Adam Rubin of ESPN.com reports the agent for former Male High School and UofL right-handed pitcher Sean Green expects the New York Mets to tender a contract to Green, but if the reliever becomes a free agent he’ll receive plenty of interest from other teams.
  • Chip Cosby of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports University of Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart plans to stay at UK to complete unfinished business including upgrading the baseball facilities.
  • MLB.com columnist Mike Bauman writes signing Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb could be “worth the risk” for MLB teams.
  • James Schmel of MLive.com lists Lexington native Austin Kearns could be a potential target for the Detroit Tigers.
  • Baseball America named the Louisville Bats the 2010 Bob Freitas “Organization of the Year” Award for the Triple-A level.
  • Louisville native and former UK left-handed pitcher Scott Downs decline arbitration from the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.

Judge rules against Paxton

College Baseball

Fayette County Circuit Court Judge James Ishmael ruled against James Paxton, right, yesterday in saying the University of Kentucky could hold him out of competition for refusing to consent to an interview with the NCAA. Ishmael said that even though the NCAA’s request was ambiguous, UK could be sanctioned for allowing Paxton to compete in games if he was in violation of NCAA rules, Jeff McMurray of the Associated Press reports.

“That is clearly not part of the student code,” Ishmael said. “I don’t see how in the world a student code can address the NCAA eligibility of a student athlete.” Paxton, UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart, Compliance Director Sandy Bell and head coach Gary Henderson testified at the hearing. (Read more)

Paxton and his attorneys have up to ten days to decide to appeal the decision. “It’s not just about James, it’s about students across the nation who don’t have due process before they’re suspended,” Paxton attorney Richard Johnson told the Kentucky Kernel in a phone interview. (Read more)

More Paxton details coming to light

College Baseball

Both the Kentucky Kernel and the Lexington Herald Leader have new stories about the James Paxton lawsuit against the University of Kentucky revealing some new details of the saga. Check these links to see some great journalism done by both outlets:

  • Ben Jones of the Kentucky Kernel reports Paxton still wants to play for UK.
  • Ashlee Clark of the Herald Leader breaks down the lawsuit, including the allegations from Paxton that UK Compliance Director Sandy Bell told him he shouldn’t inform anyone of the meeting.
  • The Herald Leader also has posted a copy of the lawsuit in which Paxton and his attorney’s allege UK violated his student rights by refusing to allow him to consult legal advice about the meeting.
  • An affidavit from one attorney (Also posted by the Herald Leader) shows UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart’s role in the process.

I encourage you to read the stories above. I could copy their work in this space, but I feel their work should be rewarded by you clicking over to those sites. However, I would like to point out Richard Johnson (the attorney who represented Oklahoma State pitcher Andrew Oliver against the NCAA) is listed as one of Paxton’s representatives in the lawsuit, but a different lawyer spoke with the Kernel and a third lawyer, who provided his affidavit, was contacted by UK as part of the investigation.

NYT: Paxton suing University of Kentucky

College Baseball

James Paxton; Photo: UK Athletics

Katie Thomas of The New York Times is reporting that UK ace James Paxton filed suit against the university in state court Wednesday. Paxton is alleging the university threatened to bar him from competition unless he met with NCAA investigators, even though he was not informed what rules he was accused of violating. DeWaynee Peevy, UK’s associate athletic director of media relations, declined to comment to The Times but did say the university was aware of the lawsuit.

Paxton was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first supplemental round in 2009 and surprised most by returning to UK for his senior season. According to The Times report, Paxton says the university told him to meet with an NCAA investigator in October but instructed him not to tell his parents or lawyer about the meeting. Paxton alleges that UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart told him he couldn’t play until he submitted to the interview.

Paxton’s lawyer, Richard Johnson, previously filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of Oklahoma State pitcher Andrew Oliver regarding the NCAA’s ban on using lawyers in negotiations with professional teams. (Read more)

Aaron Fitt of Baseball America previously reported that Paxton was limited in fall practice after having his knee scoped and a bought with mononucleosis.