Next move in Sidney case in MSU's court

February 5, 2010 10:14:00 AM

David Miller -

 

STARKVILLE -- The next step in the Renardo Sidney case is in Mississippi State''s court. 

 

Thursday, Sidney attorney Don Jackson forwarded the AMA''s analysis of the NCAA''s Fact Finding Committee''s conclusion. 

 

Though most of the findings resulted in what Jackson estimated to be "less than $1,000," his concern over his client being pegged with a violation of NCAA Bylaw 10.1-(d) was evident when reached Thursday for comment. 

 

Essentially, the Fact Finding Committee ruled that Sidney provided false statements about a 2006 trip he and his father, Renardo Sidney Sr., took to Los Angeles when the family was still living in Jackson. The NCAA''s statement of facts, which were sent to Mississippi State and later provided to the press through Jackson, states that Sidney and his father received lodging and had flights and other travel accomadations paid for. 

 

There were also "nonprofit funds used for personal gain" and "excess gear" provided to travel basketball teams through Sidney Sr.''s agreement with Reebok, but it''s Sidney Jr.''s answers to the questions about the 1996 trip have turned the case on its head. 

 

"The issues (Reebok and nonprofit) don''t trouble me, but the 10-1 violation does," Jackson said. "The unethical conduct violation leaves Mississippi State with two choices: appeal or petition for re-instatement." 

 

Mississippi State Associate Athletic Director Bracky Brett did not return messages left Thursday. 

 

Sidney''s time on the Mississippi State bench looks to continue either way Mississippi State decides to go. A decision from MSU is expected to come soon as the re-instatement process could last two weeks, maybe longer, said Jackson, who is confident a resolution could be reached by the end of the season. 

 

"[MSU] is going to petition for reinstatement, they''re almost left with no alternative," Jackson said. "The reinstatement process is a lot quicker than going through full blown appeal." 

 

Jackson likened his client''s situation to that of former Oklahoma State football wide receiver Dez Bryant, who was found guilty of lying to the NCAA about a visit with Deion Sanders. Bryant was held out the remainder of last season. 

 

The Bulldogs have nine more regular season games before the start of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on March 11. The likelihood of Sidney, Jr. missing the entire season grows by the day, and Jackson alleged Thursday the NCAA''s investigations regarding athletes'' amateurism have intended effects on conference win-loss records. 

 

"Targeting players that attend certain schools, from certain areas etc. creates real questions about the competitive credibility of the games (and whether these investigations are intended to impact the competitive balance within conferences and nationally)," Jackson wrote in a statement sent to the press Thursday. 

 

NCAA spokesman Bob Williams didn''t return a message left Thursday morning. 

 

MSU (16-6, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) play at Florida at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.