NCAA punishes Sidney for violations

The NCAA’s prolonged decision of Mississippi State talented freshman Renardo Sidney has finally been rendered.

Sidney must sit out the remainder of this season and also will miss 30 percent – nine games – of next season. Sidney also must repay $11,800 in benefits received from preferential treatment.

Mississippi State will appeal to the NCAA Division 1 Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee, but Sidney may not be back in college next season, anyway.

The versatile 6-foot-9 Mississippi native is expected to declare for the June NBA draft, according to multiple sources, though he said in a statement that he intends to return.

“I am glad the process is over with. I can go to sleep knowing I can play next year. I just want everybody to know I’m coming back next year," Sidney said in the statement. "God does everything for a reason, and this is no different. I thank my mom, coaches, teammates, Mississippi State and all the fans. They’ve helped me get through all of this, and it will make next year very special.”

Sidney was declared ineligible for violations of NCAA ethical conduct and preferential treatment rules. The ethical-conduct violations pertained to providing false or misleading information throughout the eligibility process.

Sidney also his family “benefited by using funds from a nonprofit organization for personal gain”, according to the NCAA’s release.

“Our members have made it crystal clear that student-athletes who receive impermissible benefits, either directly or indirectly, and who lie to the NCAA must be held accountable,” said Kevin Lennon, vice president for academic and membership affairs. “This case is about more than a single student-athlete. One of our core responsibilities is to ensure a level playing field for all student-athletes and their teams. No team or individual should have an unfair advantage.”

The NCAA requested specific information that was not obtained from Sidney and his attorney, Don Jackson, which the NCAA said caused multiple delays in the case.

The NCAA received the final reinstatement request with all agreed-upon facts on Feb. 26.