Monday, August 17, 2009
Sidney to enroll Monday
By Andy Katz ESPN.com
Highly touted forward Renardo Sidney has been cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center and will enroll at Mississippi State on Monday in time for the first day of classes, his attorney, Donald Jackson, told ESPN.com.
Jackson said that the investigation into Sidney's amateurism eligibility is still ongoing and may take a few months.
At issue, for the NCAA, is how the Sidney family paid for two expensive homes near Fairfax High School in Los Angeles the past two years. The Sidneys moved west from Mississippi so Renardo could attend high school in Southern California.
Sidney and Sidney's parents, Renardo and Patricia, met with the NCAA's Eligibility Center investigative arm (led by Bill Saum) in July in Jackson's Montgomery, Ala., office.
The Los Angeles Times uncovered the potential issue in detailing how UCLA and USC passed on recruiting Sidney last spring.
Former USC coach Tim Floyd told The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger that USC backed off recruiting Sidney because of the ongoing investigation into extra benefits for former football player Reggie Bush and former basketball player O.J. Mayo.
Mississippi State is expected to be a Top 20 team entering the 2009-10 season, regardless of Sidney's status. "We'll be a good team with or without Sidney, but it's obvious we'll be a much better team with him," Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said last month.
"I've learned a long time ago not to spend too much energy, waste energy worrying about things I can't control," Stansbury said. "If we have him, no question, he can help our team. But not being able to get him in summer school, in the weight room, has put him behind some."
Andy Katz covers college basketball for ESPN.com.