Judge: Cas Center OK for LaMike but not UO campus

Judge: Cas Center OK for LaMike but not UO campus »Play Video
LaMichael James leaves the courtroom Monday.

EUGENE, Ore. -- LaMichael James cannot attend classes on the University of Oregon campus or receive tutoring at the new Jaqua Center, a Lane County judge ruled Monday.

The court also learned James had been released to stay with someone in violation of NCAA rules.

James is barred from going within two miles of campus under the jail release agreement he signed after being arrested on misdemeanor fourth degree assault, strangulation and harassment charges. James pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

He appeared in court Monday morning alongside his lawyer, Mike Buseman, arguing the release agreement should be changed so James can go to class on campus, get tutoring at the new Jaqua Center and train at the Casanova Center, next to Autzen Stadium.

The original release agreement stated James was “not to be within a two mile radius of the alleged victim’s home, property, place of work or school.”

Judge Charles Zennache ruled James can go to the Casanova Center for tutoring and training but can’t go to classes on campus or visit the Jaqua Center.

James and Buseman refused to comment about the ruling to KVAL News as they left the courtroom.

Judge Zennache said James needs to check in with his professors to see if he can take tests outside the classroom. If he can’t work out a deal with his professors, James is supposed to work with pre-trial services to arrange a way he can continue his studies.

It was not immediately clear how the ruling will affect James’ NCAA eligibility to play football. An athletic department spokesman said he would look into the issue.

A separate NCAA issue also came up in court because the court-approved person James is staying with is an athletic department employee. That is violation of NCAA rules.

Dave Williford said the university approached the Pac 10 with the arrangement before James was released from jail.  He said the matter was forward to the NCAA, which found the arrangement was a violation, afterward.  They have applied for a waiver that would allow James to stay with the athletic department employee.

The judge said James will have to work with pre-trial services to find a new place to stay that fits with their standards.
 
Under court rules, the person must have known James for at least one year. The person must also not live within two miles of campus.

Buseman said former Duck women’s basketball coach Bev Smith stepped forward to house James, but it’s unknown if the county will go for that plan because she lives within two miles of campus.

Smith is no longer an athletic department employee, so it would not violate NCAA rules.

James is next scheduled to appear in court on March 24 for a routine pre-trial hearing.