James Petty was a varsity letterwinner in both track and basketball at Butler. He was a Big State, Little State and ICC conference champion in the long jump and triple jump in 1966, and he placed fourth in the NAIA National Track Meet that same year. He was a two-time track M.V.P. and played guard on Butler's basketball teams, 1962-66. Jim guarded All American Cazzie Russell when Butler defeated number one rated Michigan in 1965-66.