MSU petitions NCAA to reinstate Sidney

February 7, 2010 12:47:00 AM

David Miller -

 

STARKVILLE -- With Friday''s revelation that Mississippi State will petition for Renardo Sidney''s reinstatement instead of appealing the NCAA''s findings on the freshman forward''s amateur status, all that''s left now is for the NCAA to decide what Sidney''s punishment will be. 

 

First reported by The Clarion Ledger on Friday, Don Jackson said MSU has moved forward by petitioning the NCAA to reinstate its McDonald''s High School All-American. 

 

Mississippi State associate athletic director for compliance Bracky Brett declined comment Saturday. 

 

The school was faced with the ultimatum Thursday of riding out a lengthy appeal of the NCAA''s analysis of the Jackson-native''s amateur status or accepting the NCAA''s Fact Finding Committee''s conclusions. 

 

The committee had several violations it considered to "jeopardize the student-athlete''s amateur status," though Jackson''s chief concern surrounded an unethical conduct charge that stems from what the NCAA deemed false statements about a March 2006 trip to Los Angeles. 

 

Jackson said Sidney''s answers to questions about the trip were "I don''t remember." 

 

Still, Jackson hopes to have his client cleared soon and said Thursday the reinstatement process could last two weeks or longer. 

 

How the NCAA will rule is the new crux of the on-going saga that''s seen Sidney practice up until December but not play in any of the team''s games or travel with the Bulldogs for road games. 

 

Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant missed most of the 2009 football season for lying to the NCAA about a meeting with former NFL player Deion Sanders, so the range of possible punishment could mean missing this season. 

 

Jackson believes the violations, which he said amounted to "less than $1,000," can be resolved by setting up a restitution plan similar to that of University of Kentucky guard John Wall, who was suspended one game and ordered to make restitution for nearly $800 this season for expenses incurred during unofficial visits during high school. 

 

While Jackson said he doesn''t consider the unethical conduct charge "to be valid at all," he did say Thursday that the rest of the violations could be resolved similar to Wall''s situation. 

 

"All of these extra benefit issues, like Reebok and the non-profit stuff, could very easily be handled in reinstatment," Jackson said. "Set up a restitution plan, the family would have up to four years to contribute up to however much to a charity. Whether $1,000 or whatever."