July 30, 2009 1:57:00 PM
Donald Jackson, the attorney for the family of Mississippi State men''s basketball signee Renardo Sidney, said the recent comments by former University of Southern California coach Tim Floyd can only help his client''s case.
Floyd said earlier this week it was USC''s decision, one he was "disappointed" in, to end the recruitment of Sidney and not the Sidney family as reported May 4 by the Los Angeles Times. Floyd also said USC never independently looked into concerns about Sidney''s amateur status before it ended its recruitment, which also disputed the story that appeared in the L.A. Times.
MSU is attempting to settle the concerns about Sidney''s amateur status so he will be able to play for the Bulldogs this fall.
Jackson agreed with Floyd''s comments and said they are significant.
"That L.A. Times article was entirely incorrect from the outset," Jackson said. "That article said USC stopped recruiting Renardo because they found or were concerned about violations. The truth was they never investigated violations, and if there were concerns, they wouldn''t have investigated it.
"It really got down to the fact they were concerned about retaliation from the NCAA in this on-going investigation with O.J. Mayo and Reggie Bush than they were anything involving Renardo Sidney. There was no indication of any investigation or any violation."
Jackson believes USC based its judgment on Sidney on the one article published by the L.A. Times.
Jackson said Floyd''s comments help confirm the Sidneys'' side of the story, and he hopes more truth will come out.
"More and more information is coming out about the history of this case, the family, and things that occurred in Los Angeles, and none of it is pointing to a violation of any kind," Jackson said. "I''ve said from the beginning that it''s unfortunate this family has gotten caught up in the middle of those two cases and they are suffering as a result of it."
The NCAA Eligibility Center forwarded another document request to the Sidney family Wednesday. Among the items requested were multiple years of tax returns for Sidney''s grandparents.
Jackson said this request "represents an illegal intrusion into the privacy rights of an individual over whom the NCAA has no legal authority."
In the e-mail, Alex Hammond of the NCAA said Sidney wouldn''t be cleared unless his parents and grandparents provided tax returns to the NCAA, travel records from more than four years ago, and bank statements for the family.
Jackson is concerned two generations of the Sidney family have to prove to the NCAA that they have the financial capability to support themselves.
NCAA investigators interview members of the Sidney family Wednesday morning, but Jackson was excluded due to his refusal to sign a confidentiality statement.
Jackson said the issue of confidentiality is being addressed in Florida litigation, and he has refused to execute confidentiality agreements in NCAA cases for almost a decade.
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