Mississippi State's Sidney, Bailey suspended for fistfight

By The Associated Press

HONOLULU — The two Mississippi State players caught on camera fighting in the stands of the Diamond Head Classic have been suspended indefinitely and sent home from Hawaii.

Renardo Sidney and Elgin Bailey, who are roommates, were involved in a fistfight after the Bulldogs’ game Thursday night. The altercation lasted for several minutes before being broken up by teammates and coaches.

MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin sent out a tweet on Friday saying “The actions that took place in Hawaii were embarrassing to all of us who love Mississippi State. This behavior will not be tolerated.”

In a release from the university, coach Rick Stansbury expressed his disappointment.

“In my 13 years as a head coach, we’ve never had anything like this happen before,” he said. “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.”

It’s the latest in a string of issues for Sidney. The NCAA ruled last March he had to repay $11,800 in improper benefits and sit out the remainder of the 2010 season and nine more games this season.

It’s a huge blow for the Bulldogs, who are now without two of their best frontcourt players. Sidney, a 6-foot-10 sophomore who was one of the most highly-recruited players of the 2009 class, has averaged 15.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in two games this season. Bailey, a 6-foot-8 junior, has started 10 out of 11 games and is averaging 6.2 points and 3.9 rebounds.

Sidney and Bailey will miss at least the next two games. MSU (8-4) plays Hawaii on Saturday in the Diamond Head Classic and then travels to Las Vegas to face St. Mary’s on Wednesday.

Statement by Renardo Sidney:

“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.”

Complete press release from school below:

Bailey, Sidney Suspended Indefinitely

STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Mississippi State University Athletics Department announced Friday that 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. Both Bailey and Sidney have been sent home from Hawaii where the team is competing in the Diamond Head Classic. They will not play in Saturday’s game at Hawaii nor next Wednesday’s game against St. Mary’s in Las Vegas.

The length of the suspensions will be determined by the actions of Elgin and Renardo moving forward, and the situation will be reassessed when the team and coaching staff return to campus.

“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.”

“In my 13 years as a head coach, we’ve never had anything like this happen before,” Stansbury said. “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.”

Click here to read more at Brad Locke’s blog Inside Mississippi State sports.