Red Sox fourth-round pick Ty Buttrey in high school graduation controversy

June 06, 2012 - 2:48 pm
According to a report on, high school right-hander Ty Buttrey, a fourth-round selection by the Red Sox in the amateur draft, is in the middle of a controversy about whether or not he can take part in his high school graduation after he skipped a graduation rehearsal while engaged in conversations with teams during the Major League Baseball draft. From the report: The family told WBTV News that they and Buttrey's coach asked Principal Tracey Harrill to make an exception to a standing rule that said if students don't participate in the rehearsal that they cannot walk. The family said Harrill denied their request. According to the school district's rules, in order to participate in graduation exercises "a student must participate in the graduation rehearsal. Exceptions to this provision must be reviewed by the principal and decisions shall be made on a case-by-case basis." "His coach tried to work with the principal and she wouldn't have anything to do with it. So it's not like we didn't try," said Dan Buttrey Ty's father. Buttrey's father says students were told that no cell phone would be allowed at the practice. The family says that teams and advisors were set to call Buttrey at the exact same time as the graduation rehearsal. With new collective bargaining agreement rules, he needed to be on the phone to get the information and negotiate from various teams, his father told WBTV. Buttrey's father, Dan Buttrey, told the station that his son requested an exception to the policy prohibiting cell phones at the rehearsal, and that the Providence High School principal refused the request. Given the need to be engaged with both teams and advisors during the draft, Ty Buttrey felt compelled not to attend the rehearsal. Again, from the report: "I told him I don't care what the teachers say or the principal say," said Dan Buttrey. "This is more important than that. I'm not going to deal with the administrators of Providence High School versus my son signing a million-dollar contract with the Boston Red Sox." The family says they want him to be able to graduate with his classmates. "It's a no brainer. He shouldn't have even been there. But he was at least willing to go if he had his phone in case they call, and his coach tried to work with the principal and she wouldn't have anything to do with it," Buttrey said. "So it's not like we didn't try. We tried to do everything we could. We tried to be flexible. We tried to go to that practice. AND deal with these million-dollar negotiations. And they didn't want to do that! So this is ridiculous." The school's principal told the station that it was hoped that a meeting could be arranged with the family to make a determination about whether Buttrey will be able to take part in graduation exercises. Buttrey went 9-1 with a 0.91 ERA as a senior. The 6-foot-6 right-hander features a mid-90s fastball along with a knuckle-curve. He was projected as high as a first-round pick but fell amidst questions about his signability away from a scholarship at Arkansas. While his slot in the draft carried a $291,300 recommended bonus from Major League Baseball, it is believed that Buttrey would need a bonus significantly beyond that figure in order to sign with the Sox. For more on the right-hander, click here.