NCAA meets with heralded hoops recruit's family

Jul 7, 2009 - 10:25 PM By CHRIS TALBOTT Associated Press Writer

JACKSON, Miss.(AP) -- The attorney for Mississippi State signee Renardo Sidney, whose eligibility to play for the Bulldogs is being investigated by the NCAA, and his parents says meetings with the NCAA on Monday and Tuesday were "productive."

The Sidneys met with NCAA investigators at the Montgomery, Ala., offices of attorney Don Jackson, answered questions about their finances and are now returning to Los Angeles.

Jackson doesn't expect a quick resolution, but after listening to the NCAA's questions he thinks Sidney's case could be wrapped up by the time the season starts.

"I don't think it's going to be a sprint and I don't think it's going to be a marathon," Jackson said in a phone interview Tuesday from Montgomery. "But I think frankly it will be a middle distance race."

The NCAA is looking into the 6-foot-10 power forward's amateur status after newspaper reports based on anonymous sources questioned how the Sidneys were living in million-dollar homes after leaving Jackson for Los Angeles while their son played at Fairfax High.

Sidney is expected to enroll at Mississippi State next month and hopes to play next season for the Bulldogs. If the NCAA finds his amateur status has been compromised, he could be forced to sit out part or all of next season.

Jackson is even more confident now that the Sidneys have done nothing wrong. He said most of the NCAA's questions had to do with stories in the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post.

The family has disputed the allegations of wrongdoing and has turned over financial records to the NCAA.

"(The NCAA) may not be in full agreement, but both of those articles turned out to be sensationalistic garbage," Jackson said.

The NCAA, which usually does not comment on eligibility issues, released a statement following the meetings. It said a timeline could not be established for completion of the case and disputes Jackson's claim that the family has turned over all requested financial information.

Jackson, however, says the family has given the NCAA everything it has asked for and more, except for bank statements, which he considers off limits. He said officials asked for more records during the meetings.

"The NCAA's emphasis throughout this ongoing process has been to ensure a thorough and fair review of all the facts surrounding this case," the statement said.

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