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COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NCAA seeks documents from family of basketball recruit Renardo Sidney

It opens inquiry into power forward from Los Angeles Fairfax High who signed a letter of intent with Mississippi State. Costs of homes are at issue.

June 05, 2009|Lance Pugmire

The NCAA has opened its review of star basketball recruit Renardo Sidney, a Mississippi State athletic official said Thursday.

Sidney, a 6-foot-10 power forward from Los Angeles Fairfax High, signed a letter of intent with Mississippi State last month after he was dropped as a recruit by UCLA and USC. Sidney had announced his plans to sign with USC. The family has said the split between player and school came by mutual decision.

Bracky Brett, director of compliance for Mississippi State's athletic program, said the school and NCAA had requested documents from the Sidney family and its legal counsel. "Once we get that, we can go to the interview phase. But the documents we get will determine a lot of our questions," he said.

Brett would not say what had been requested, but Sidney attorney Donald Jackson told the (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger newspaper that the family was asked for bank records and documentation related to homes they rented while Renardo attended Fairfax.

"We're actually going to provide them more than they need, but they're not going to get bank statements," Jackson told the Clarion-Ledger.

The Sidneys resided in at least two different homes during the two years Renardo played for Fairfax. They paid $4,000 to $5,000 monthly for one, the homeowner told The Times. A UCLA source, requiring anonymity because college representatives are not allowed to speak about recruits, said the school was concerned about how the family could afford to live in such a home.

"The young man is going to be cleared," Jackson told The Times. "There have been no violations." The attorney declined further comment.

Brett said the NCAA's review of Sidney is routine for elite athletes, and that outside legal counsel retained by Mississippi State was monitoring the process.

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lance.pugmire@latimes.com

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