Blog Entry

Sidney suspension will last into next season

Posted on: March 5, 2010 4:12 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2010 5:42 pm

The NCAA announced in a statement Friday that Renardo Sidney's suspension will last into 30 percent of next season and require that he repay $11,800, making it doubtful the former McDonald's All-American ever plays college basketball at Mississippi State.

"Mississippi State declared Sidney ineligible for violations of NCAA ethical-conduct and preferential-treatment rules," the statement read. "The ethical-conduct violations pertained to providing false or misleading information throughout the eligibility process. Sidney and his family benefited by using funds from a nonprofit organization for personal gain. ... The academic and membership affairs staff determined that those funds would not have been available were it not for the student-athlete’s athletics skills and reputation. Other preferential treatment included hotel accommodations and other travel expenses, as well as free athletics gear and training."

Sidney has been at the center of an investigation since the L.A. Times reported he and his family rented expensive homes in California without obvious means to do so. Sidney initially committed to Southern California but ultimately signed with Mississippi State after USC reportedly decided that enrolling Sidney would be risky given the school's recent NCAA troubles.

"Student-athletes who receive impermissible benefits, either directly or indirectly, and who [lie] to the NCAA must be held accountable,” said Kevin Lennon, vice president for academic and membership affairs. “This case is about more than a single student-athlete. One of our core responsibilities is to ensure a level playing field for all student-athletes and their teams.  No team or individual should have an unfair advantage."

Mississippi State announced Friday that it plans to appeal.

Either way, there's no guarantee Sidney will return to school next season.

He's talented enough that it's possible he could be selected in June's NBA Draft.

The Sidney family attorney, Don Jackson, responded in an email sent to

Here is the statement's full text (unedited):

"In response to the NCAA's recent decision to "suspend" Renardo, Jr. for the 2009-2010 season, tomorrow is the final regular season game of the season.  The decision has minimal real significance for this season. It was apparent months ago that he would be "suspended" this season. The refusal to make a "decision" and NCAA spokesmen and women's repeated statements that there was "no timetable" for a final decision made it quite clear months ago that the intent was to impose a season long "suspension". Most troubling about this "decision" is that it raises real questions about competitive integrity and whether there was an intent to impact the competitive outcome for this season at this university.   A pre-season top 25 team has been left "on the bubble" as a result of a phantom 10.1 unethical conduct charge over a trip that occurred during Renardo's ninth grade season that he repeatedly stated that he and his family did not recall (in detail). As it relates to the extra benefits that his family allegedly received through the non-profit foundation that operated his summer league team, he has been punished because hamburgers and fries were purchased on weekend trips in cash.   In effect, every dime  that was used for his summer league team that could not be documented with receipts was charged back to his family. Further, he was charged with having received extra Reebok gear and his family charged for it despite the fact that there was overwhelming evidence to establish that he received nothing different from his summer league teammates. Bottom line, this decision is a transparent attempt to justify a yearlong investigation that started out focusing on million dollar homes.   When the L.A. Times version of the "facts" wound up not to be true, the Eligibility Center created their own. If Mr. Lennon believes that college basketball is better afterward, he is mistaken.  It reallly appears that MSU fans were simply robbed of a potentially memorable season.  Maybe there should be an asterisk beside every loss on MSU's schedule this season."

Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posted on: March 6, 2010 11:18 am

Sidney suspension will last into next season

Yo, jacka$$, the article is about Sidney, not Kentucly, or Coach Cal. Re-read it and you will see that nowhere is Kentucky mentioned. Coach Cal has done ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong here, and even if he had tried to sign Sidney, Sidney would STILL have been found ineligible. Get your facts straight, and don't post crap. You simply make yourself look STUPID. Coach Cal signed players who were CLEARED by the NCAA, after they went through the normal process that every other player went through. Should we speculate about Javier Henry being signed illegally or not being eligible simply because Javier is a high profile recruit? Go back to worrying about your beloved Hawks making it far in the NCAA, and stop worrying about something that is not even an NCAA issue.

Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: March 6, 2010 9:15 am

Sidney suspension will last into next season

Jaybird, my condolences to you on the woeful season you are enduring with your dear Tar Heels playing so poorly. I guess when you have nothing to root for you start ragging on other teams. This article had nothing to do with Kentucky, Calipari or John Wall, but it must sicken you to see our success this year since you so obviously bleed powder blue!
Comparing the Sidney case to Wall is asinine. Wall was punished because it was discovered after the fact that his AAU coach had at one time been registered as an agent (though no other D1 players under that coach received suspensions). John Wall is an outstanding young man, the hardest worker on the team and in the classroom and your attack of him just implies how much you wish you had him this year. Big mistake by Roy!

Since: Apr 16, 2009
Posted on: March 6, 2010 12:53 am

Sidney suspension will last into next season

'sickofyoudumbas,' considering your name, I would think that you might put a little effort or research into your posts. mississippi state is not paying their players, or if they are this story has nothing to do with it. this has to do with a player who committed to miss state and was already being investigated by the NCAA for possible violations of his amateur status, ie receiving improper money/benefits. again, this story has nothing to do with mississippi state paying their players.

Since: Dec 26, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2010 10:49 pm

Sidney suspension will last into next season

This is the first Ive heard of this story and I guess this means that Mississippi State pays their players, its a little surprising that they don't have a better program, maybe they are new at it and thats how they got caught

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2010 9:23 pm

Stupid is as stupid does.

The entire Sidney family could learn a lot from the old proverb, "Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas."
I wonder who's paying the bill for that sleazy lawyer they hired.

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2010 8:33 pm

Sidney suspension will last into next season

John Wall got a couple hundred dollars in extra bennefits. Sidney was charged for over 11K in impermissable gifts. If they found 11K there was a lot more involved.  No one said anything about Henry going to Kansas. He was commited to the Tigers with his brother.

Since: Apr 1, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2010 7:37 pm

Sidney suspension will last into next season

Why do you have to bring up Kentucky?

UK has nothing to do with Sidney's situation. You really sound pissed off and jealous.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2010 7:30 pm

Sidney suspension will last into next season

Make no mistake that Sidney would be playing now, if he had signed with Kentucky. The NCAA is a corrupt organization that picks and chooses who it wants to punish and who it wants to slap on the wrist. Had John Wall signed with Mississippi State, you can bet he would have received a lot more than an opening game suspension.

The NCAA has decided that college basketball is better off when Kentucky is one of the nation's elite teams. I don't think the average fan has a problem with that as long as Kentucky plays by the same rules as everybody else.

The circumstances under which Calipari brought in three NBA players to Lexington during the late signing period, while running six players out of town that were already on the roster, have done little to change his well earned reputation as a coach that is ethically challenged (to say the least). I have to admit that having 38 victories and a 2008 Final Four appearance (as well as a 1996 Final Four appearance) erased from the official NCAA record book is impressive.

Anybody that thinks that all elite players base their decision on where to play college basketball with the school in mind, is living in another planet. If Calipari was still at Memphis, we all would be seeing Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, and Xavier Henry running roughshod through Conference USA in Tiger High gear.

The only question that remains is how many of this year's top six remaining high profile seniors end up signing with Kentucky after Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, and Patterson announce their departures in mid-April (or sooner).

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2010 6:46 pm

Sidney suspension will last into next season

That girl throws a punch, gone 2 games.

Sidney takes gifts, gone 1+ YEARS

Nice priorities NCAA

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2010 6:44 pm

Sidney suspension will last into next season

First, I'd be very interested to hear from a spokesperson at Mississippi State.  I'm pretty sure they're not too pleased about Don Jackson talking publicly and issuing statements that make it sound as if he is part of the Mississippi State family and fighting the fight in the name of goodness.

Second, I find it amusing that until the end of the statement, Jackson makes no mention of the multiple million dollar homes the family was renting in and around Los Angeles with no apparent income to afford them.  Instead, he fixates on the "hamburgers and fries purchased on weekend trips" that he claims this whole episode is all about.

Let's talk about this "non-profit foundation" that runs the summer league team Renardo Sidney played for.  If the non-profit is on the up-and-up, the last thing they want to do is get called out by the IRS because they can't provide documentation for all their income and expenses.  Mr. Jackson's statement may have just opened up a can of worms for the organization depending on what they filed on their IRS forms.  I'll be curious to see where that ends up...

Finally, it's ironic that Jackson attacks the NCAA's competitive integrity when it's the family he's representing who's damaged Sidney's amateur status with respect to NCAA basketball. With all the risks and stunts that USC and its players have taken during the last decade in their basketball and football programs, for USC to say that Renardo Sidney was too risky should tell you all you need to know about his family's situation and Sidney's potential for bringing down the NCAA on them.

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