By David Brandt/The Associated Press
Mississippi State sophomore Renardo Sidney’s long-awaited return to the basketball court has hit a snag.
The 6-foot-10 forward has been suspended for one game for “conduct detrimental to the team,” school spokesman Gregg Ellis said Tuesday. Ellis confirmed that the suspension is related to an incident during Monday’s practice, but he declined to provide further details.
The school released a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying Sidney was suspended indefinitely, but sent another release less than an hour later changing the punishment to a one-game suspension. Ellis said the problem was a miscommunication, and that Stansbury had not changed his decision.
“Sid is suspended for conduct detrimental to the team,” MSU coach Rick Stansbury said in the second statement. “That’s all I’m saying. That’s all that needs to be said.”
Sidney has played in only one game this season because of an NCAA suspension. He scored 12 points and grabbed three rebounds in 25 minutes before fouling out in the Bulldogs’ 88-57 loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday.
Mississippi State is currently in Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic tournament and plays Washington State on Wednesday. Sidney will remain with the team.
An elite recruit from the 2009 class, Sidney grew up in Jackson, Miss., but played at a Los Angeles high school. The NCAA ruled in March that he received preferential treatment and improper benefits because of his ability, and that he also violated ethics rules by providing false or misleading statements.
Sidney was forced to repay $11,800 in improper benefits and sit out the remainder of the 2010 season, along with the first nine games this season.
Along with his eligibility issues, Sidney has also battled a bulging waistline. At about 275 pounds, he acknowledged last week that he’s at least 10 pounds overweight despite practicing with the team all season.
During an exhibition game last week, which was specifically scheduled to help Sidney get into game shape, he battled leg cramps throughout the second half.
It’s been a chaotic year for Mississippi State (7-3), which is also without point guard Dee Bost, the team’s leading scorer last season.
Bost was ruled academically ineligible for the fall semester and now is serving a nine-game NCAA suspension after failing to pull out of the NBA draft by the deadline last spring. He is eligible to return Jan. 8 for the team’s SEC opener against Alabama.