July 3, 2009
Danny P Smith -
It has already taken quite a bit of time for the case regarding Renardo Sidney''s amateur status to develop.
Donald Jackson, the attorney for the Mississippi State basketball signee, said something happened this week that could delay the process even further.
Jackson recently learned through e-mail the NCAA has transferred all amateurism cases to the eligibility center, which means a new person will handle the case.
The troubling part for Jackson is that person works for Bill Saum, who once was the director of agent, gambling, and amateurism activities for the NCAA.
"I don''t see that as a good sign because he has a history of dragging these cases out," Jackson said.
Jackson said he provided all documentation requested by Mississippi State and the NCAA earlier this week. Interviews are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.
Some have suggested Jackson hasn''t provided information in a timely manner.
Jackson insists he has done what has been asked of him. He said it has been frustrating the process hasn''t moved along better.
"It''s dragging and dragging unnecessarily," Jackson said.
Mississippi State Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Bracky Brett said the university has cooperated with Jackson and the NCAA to do what''s best for Sidney.
"As we have from the very beginning, we''ve been attempting to work with everybody involved on getting the documents that have been requested and those have been delivered (Tuesday)," Brett said. "We have said from the beginning that once we got those that the NCAA would be given time to review those and would schedule the interviews, and we''re working toward that now. We''re working on that as quickly as possible."
Questions concerning Sidney''s amateur status stem from his father''s involvement with employees of Reebok, a producer of athletic footwear, apparel, and accessories.
Jackson said he is attempting to prove his client didn''t receive any benefits from Reebok.
Any academic problems need to be resolved by August so Sidney can enroll at MSU.
"They are two separate inquiries," Jackson said. "The academic review part of it will need to be completed before he enrolls in school, but the amateurism issue wouldn''t have to be resolved before enrollment. It could linger into the fall, and I have been involved in some cases where they have lingered into the beginning of the season."