STARKVILLE – As the NCAA’s amateurism investigation of Renardo Sidney drags on toward 2010, an inevitable question arises: What is the point of no return?
That is, when does it become too late for Sidney, Mississippi State’s 6-foot-10 freshman phenom, to step on the floor and be someone who can not only help, but make a huge impact for the Bulldogs?
Sidney will again be on the bench in street clothes tonight when MSU (7-2) takes on Wright State at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Bulldogs are starting to click and find the kind of chemistry that carried them to the 2009 SEC Tournament title. If Sidney wasn’t cleared until, say, mid-January or later, after SEC play is in full swing, inserting him into the lineup would force State to adjust on the fly.
“I think he’ll be a guy that naturally when you get him there’s some huge adjustments being away from us,” coach Rick Stansbury said. “But his talent level allows him to fit in pretty quick. Now you’ve got to get all that chemistry right and all that stuff.
“If it happens, when it happens, it’ll be a good problem to have.”
The case does not appear close to a resolution. Sidney’s attorney, Donald Jackson, did not return a call from the Daily Journal seeking comment on Tuesday.
Jackson told FoxSports.com on Tuesday that the NCAA Eligibility Center has conducted several interviews with people it identified “more than six months ago” as relevant to the case.
“These people were identified to the NCAA and documentation was provided in late spring,” Jackson told the Web site. “They are finally conducting interviews one-third of the way into the youngster’s freshman season.
“Sidney is serving a suspension without having been found guilty of anything.”
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal