Colleges Headline Sports Law

Andy Oliver Part II?

James Paxton

When I first reported on Andy Oliver back on June 2, 2008, no one had heard of him.  Since then, he has made national headlines in every major paper for his lawsuit against the NCAA, which eventually was settled for$750,000.  The antiquated NCAA Bylaw was voided, only to be re-established by the settlement.  It looked like the NCAA would finally receive a blow, but the settlement allowed the organization to remain unscathed ($750,000 is pennies to the NCAA).

Many would say that the NCAA has gone back to its usual tactics of ignoring the rights of student athletes in favor of doing whatever it pleases.  One person who agrees with that statement is Richard Johnson, the attorney who represented Andy Oliver in his lawsuit.  Johnson also has the pleasure of representing another student-athlete who has a solid claim against the NCAA.  This player’s name is James Paxton, and he may have a stronger case than Oliver had.

Just as Oliver was a standout pitcher for Oklahoma State, Paxton is the #1 pitcher for the University of Kentucky.  Oliver was informed of his violation before the NCAA laid down a penalty.  Paxton was not as fortunate.  A University of Kentucky employee basically told Paxton that he would have to sit out from playing and would lose his financial aid if he refused to meet with NCAA investigators for a violation that the NCAA would not disclose.  The employee informed Paxton that when a basketball player cooperated with the NCAA, he only received a 6-game suspension instead of having to sit out the entire year.  Recently, UK has stated that Paxton will not have to sit out.

Paxton was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the Supplemental First Round (#37 overall), largely due to his fastball, which has been clocked up to 98 mph.  He decided to come back to UK for his senior season instead of signing for the offer presented to him by the Blue Jays.  In all likelihood, the NCAA investigation surrounds Paxton’s actions regarding the draft.  Did his advisor have direct contact with someone in the Blue Jays organization?  His advisor was the same man who most recently represented Andy Oliver: Scott Boras.  Boras has already said that he is compliant with NCAA rules and regulations.

“We are compliant with the NCAA rules by mandate,” Boras said. “We have to go to families and charge them for information that we would otherwise not charge for. And we have to go through the bailiwick of having the parents deal with the teams through our counsel, which is crazy.”

The most shady part of how the NCAA has handled this thus far is that the NCAA told Paxton to keep the investigation hidden from his parents and lawyers.

Enjoy the Memorandum in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for a Temporary Injunction, replicated below.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

4 replies on “Andy Oliver Part II?”

You know, being a successful sports agent is my ultimate goal. However, sometimes I wonder about the nature of the business. I have a pretty good idea of how it works. However, the agents that I see that are so successful (Boras, Rosenhaus, etc) always seem to have some illegal allegation against them for violating policy. This goes also with the NCAA and the leagues.

My point here is that I feel like the only way these great agents have the huge success that they have is because they “may” engage in unethical practices. (Not saying that they do).

I’m 100% sure that there are good guys out there but it’s just something that makes me think. I am by no means open to being a cheater in the business, that’s just not me.

I guess the truth can never be known so I’ll just run with my personal policies and see where that gets me.

The NCAA is corrupt as hell. What will it take for somehow to take this monopoly down? Unfortunately, the best known lawsuit against the NCAA include 2 African-Americans (which sadly the average American won’t care about at the same level as a white athlete) who were “trouble makers” on their football team. Neither had mass appeal across the nation which they could use to build support to override dumb NCAA laws. The fact that Clarett had been in trouble with the law previous to his lawsuit didn’t help. I really, really hope that a “clean cut” player beloved by ESPN/CNN will someday sue the NCAA. Someone needs to reveal the truth about the NCAA and remove the mirage that the NCAA gives a damn about the “student” athletes.

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