June 30, 2009
Until the NCAA has had a chance to weigh all the facts concerning Mississippi State men''s basketball signee Renardo Sidney''s eligibilty, it will continue to be a "he said, he said" situation and MSU basketball coach Rick Stansbury appears to be staying out of it.
Ever since Sidney signed with Mississippi State, there has been a question concerning his amateur status because of dealings with Reebok representatives, first with Sonny Viccaro and later with Chris Rivers.
There have been reports about Viccaro helping move Sidney and his family move from Mississippi to California in the summer 2006 and that Rivers assisted in the funding of Sidney''s Amateur Athletic Union team.
One side of the story was USC and UCLA stopped recruiting Sidney because of those dealings, but Donald Jackson, the Sidney family lawyer, said that is false.
Jackson said the only reason USC and UCLA stopped recruiting Sidney was because he indicated that he would sign with MSU.
"(The Sidney family) has received no inappropriate benefits from anybody," Jackson said.
Jackson has provided the documents that were requested by the NCAA to review and it''s the hope of the Sidney family that interviews can take place for the two sides this week, possibly Thursday.
Mississippi State Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Bracky Brett has been the person collecting the information for the NCAA. He has said from the beginning that the process could take a while to sort out.
If the Bulldogs are to get Sidney on the court in the fall, he''ll have to be clearned and enrolled in school by August.
Stansbury is leaving everything in the hands of Brett and the administration.
"I have no understanding or knowledge of the process," Stansbury said on a Southeastsern Conference teleconference Monday. "There are people out there who know a lot more about it than I do."
Stansbury could have one of the more impressive recruiting classes coming in with Sidney, John Riek, Wendell Lewis and former Noxubee High School standout Shaunessy Smith.
If Riek and Smith are healthy and the eligibility issue with Sidney is cleared up, the Bulldogs could have some lofty expectations for the season.
Stansbury said he always wants to be perceived as good rather than bad, but won''t enter the fall doing anything any different because of any positive or negative feedback.
"It''s the same every year," Stansbury said. "Expectations are something outside of those lines and something we can''t control. Our goals will be the same."