Ty Buttrey, Red Sox draft pick, will walk at graduation after debatable about face

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Less than 24 hours after his graduation plight became national news, star Charlotte (N.C.) Providence High pitcher Ty Buttrey was given clearance to walk at his commencement by the principal who had previously allegedly told him his absence at a walk through would keep him from doing so.

Providence ace and Boston Red Sox draft pick Ty Buttrey — WBTV
Providence ace and Boston Red Sox draft pick Ty Buttrey — WBTV

As reported by North Carolina network WBTV, Buttrey was granted clearance to walk at the Providence graduation in a meeting between Buttrey, his mother and Providence principal Tracey Harrill. In addition, Harrill denied that any prior outreach between the Buttreys and herself or other school representatives had occurred, contrary to what Buttrey's father, Dan Buttrey, had told media outlets on Tuesday.

"The parents assumed that [Buttrey] would not participate in the ceremony without having a conversation with the principal prior to the rehearsal," Providence High School principal Tracey Harrill told WBTV in an email which was also shared with a Prep Rally reader.

"I have worked with several families who contacted me prior to rehearsal to accommodate extenuating circumstances including a college athlete and a rising college freshman who attended an orientation. Graduations are a milestone and should be a memorable event for all families. I look forward to meeting with [Buttrey's] parents to discuss the matter at hand."

That account is in direct conflict with the Buttrey family, which claimed that it and Ty Buttrey's coach had both reached out to Harrill to try and gain leniency on the graduation regulation to no avail.

By the end of Wednesday's meeting, Buttrey was granted the right to walk with his classmates, and the school district quickly moved to ease any tensions that might have lingered between the school and Buttrey, whose baseball potential makes him a prime candidate to be among the school's more notable alumni in coming years.

"No decision had been made prior to this meeting and Ms. Harrill never told Ty or his parents that he could not walk," school officials told WBTV on Wednesday. "She communicated her decision directly to Ty and his mother at today's meeting.

"We are proud of all he has accomplished."

With the controversy surrounding his graduation firmly in the past, Buttrey can turn his attention to the things that he had long anticipated focusing on: His Thursday night commencement, celebrating with friends and then, hopefully, agreeing to a contract with the Boston Red Sox and heading off to begin his professional baseball career in the minor leagues.

While coming to a deal may be anything but a straightforward process, Buttrey — who was rated as the nation's No. 38 overall prospect heading into the MLB Draft — is expected to be offered a significant financial package by the Red Sox, who clearly see his power pitching upside as worthy of a pick even higher than the fourth round slot in which they selected him.

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