James Paxton, a senior left-handed pitcher from the University of Kentucky, was drafted 37th overall in the 2009 Major League Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, but chose not to sign by the August 17th, opting to return to Kentucky for his senior season. The only problem – mega-agent Scott Boras, who was “advising” Paxton prior to the draft, apparently stepped in to negotiate on an agent level as the deadline approached. Naturally, the NCAA wanted to ask Paxton a few questions. He refused. Judge and jury enter stage left.
Paxton, who was the only player drafted in the top 100 not to sign, would lose his remaining year of college eligibility if it was proven that Scott Boras negotiated on his behalf with the Blue Jays. According to Paxton, NCAA official Sandy Bell told him he faced a short suspension if he submitted to questioning and a longer one if he refused. Then, after a university official suggested the NCAA had Paxton’s “life in their hands,” he refused to be questioned and offered the following on the stand:
“I feel my eligibility is threatened going to that meeting,” Paxton said. “I’m uncomfortable with feeling the NCAA makes their own rules and has my life in their hands.”
Sorry, James, you got it a bit backwards – going to the meeting doesn’t threatened your eligibility, having Scott Boras directly negotiated with the Toronto Blue Jays threatens your eligibility and this “meeting” is just a by product of that. If you want to come back for your senior year, don’t sell your soul to the Dev… er… Scott Boras. Period.
At the end of the day, the Kentucky baseball team is going to be subject to possible game forfeiture if they allow Paxton to be on the roster and compete until the question on his eligibility is cleared up. Stay hot, James, I hope it was worth it.