Don Jackson, the attorney for Mississippi State recruit Renardo Sidney, sent out an email this morning ripping the MSU athletic department for their handling of the case.
Some of the highlights:
He accussed the university of being "brow beaten into assisting in the denial of Mr. Sidney's rights"
The current athletic department staff has taken an decidely different approach in this case, despite the fact that they have privately acknowledged the absemse (sic) of violations in this case. In effect, in recent months it has appeared that MSU's athletic department has entirely abdicated their obligation to protect the interests of their student-athlete
Every effort to requests production of such information [documents requested by the NCAA to clear Sidney] has been met by such resistance despite MSU representatives private assurances that they have seen no major violation of any type
The NCAA has badgered and intimiated this athletic department into sacrificing this student-athlete. Statements from athletic department personnel (from early on) regarding the University's protecting of their interests now appear to imply the University's protection of their interests translates to their sacrificing this student-athlete with out justification.Now, forgive me if I seem a bit skeptical. Jackson has been all over the map during the Sidney saga, from claiming that the issue was Sidney's race (he is black) to threatening to take the case before Congress. To me this just seems like more posturing from an attorney trying to play the media to his advantage.
Given what we know about Sidney - lived in an expensive rental in LA, his dads association with a shoe company, the fact UCLA and USC both stopped recruiting him, etc. - and given what we have seen from Jackson to date, I think any stonewalling done by the Bulldogs is fully justified.
There may not be evidence of a major violation right now, but is it worth risking future postseasons and future scholarhships for 20 games from Sidney?
I think not.
And if that's the case, kudos to Mississippi State for standing their ground.
That said, what Jackson is saying could very well be true.
I just don't buy it right now.