December 25, 2010 9:27:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State University Athletics Department announced Friday men''s basketball players Elgin Bailey and Renardo Sidney have been suspended indefinitely for their roles in an altercation Thursday night at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
Bailey and Sidney were sent home from Hawaii where the team is competing in the Diamond Head Classic. They won''t play today against Hawaii or Wednesday against St. Mary''s in Las Vegas.
The length of the suspensions will be determined by the actions of Bailey, a junior captain, and Sidney, a sophomore forward, moving forward, and the situation will be re-assessed when the team and coaching staff return to campus. The players were roommates.
The fight, which lasted several minutes and was broken up by teammates, was captured by ESPN, which is in Honolulu covering the tournament. The video, which lasted a little more than a minute shows Sidney punching Bailey several times. Bailey then rises from behind seats and stares down Sidney and attempts to get back at him.
"Our athletic staff, coaches and student-athletes have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner that brings credit and honor to our university," MSU Athletics Director Scott Stricklin said. "The actions that took place Thursday night in Hawaii were embarrassing to all of us who love Mississippi State University and our athletic program. This behavior will not be tolerated."
Said MSU men''s basketball coach Rick Stansbury, "In my 13 years as a head coach, we''ve never had anything like this happen before. I am very disappointed in the actions of Elgin Bailey and Renardo Sidney and in no way does it reflect the overall picture of our program. It is not how we want our men''s basketball team to be viewed nationally, and it is certainly not the conduct we expect of teammates in our program, nor will it be tolerated on any level."
Sidney and Bailey released statements later Friday.
"I''m very sorry for this incident. I had no intention of this ever happening. I apologize for embarrassing my family, all the Mississippi State fans, my teammates and coaches. I will learn from this and move on," Sidney said.
Said Bailey, "I want to apologize to Mississippi State, to the people in Hawaii and to the fans that were in the stands that witnessed everything. Due to me being a captain, I should have handled the situation in a much different way. It should have never gotten to the point that it did. I really am sorry that all of this happened, especially with it unfolding on TV like it did."
Due to travel issues, and barring any more travel issues, sophomore center John Riek won''t join the team until it gets to Las Vegas. He is expected to play Dec. 29 against St. Mary''s.
Sidney was suspended for MSU''s first game in Hawaii, a loss to Washington State, for "conduct detrimental to the team." He returned for the next game, a victory against San Diego, to score 19 points. Bailey had two points in the 69-52 victory.
The game was just the second regular-season game for Sidney as a Bulldog. The McDonald''s All-American out of Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, sat out all of last season awaiting clearance from the NCAA.
Bailey is averaging 6.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 11 games (10 starts).
Associated Press reports were included in this story.
kat commented at 12/25/2010 8:09:00 PM:
Why does this behavior not surprise me?
westbankgeezer commented at 12/27/2010 6:44:00 PM:
Sidney has been a problem from day one and will probably get State in more trouble. Fighting on National TV with a member of the other team is bad enough but fighting with your team mate! He may be a telented player but MSU does not need to recruit thugs?
homegranny commented at 12/27/2010 7:02:00 PM:
This shows a complete lack of respect for the School, their Family and their team mates