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March 5, 2010

NCAA announces ruling on Sidney case

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The nearly year-long NCAA investigation of Renardo Sidney has come to a close, and the academic and membership affairs staff on Friday outlined the penalties issued against the 2009 Mississippi State signee.

In a written statement delivered to university officials, the NCAA, based on its findings, levied a two-part penalty that states Sidney lost a year of eligibility due to unethical conduct and must also sit out 30 percent of the 2010-11 season due to impermissible benefits received prior to his college enrollment.

Mississippi State has already informed the NCAA of its immediate plans to appeal.

"From the beginning, Dr. Keenum (university president) gave us the charge to provide every resource available to help Renardo gain his eligibility, while maintaining the integrity of the university," MSU athletics director Greg Byrne said. "We felt from the beginning Renardo deserves the opportunity to be both a student and athlete at Mississippi State , and this is still our belief today."

As part of the resolution, Sidney must also pay back the dollar value of the improper benefits he received. However, he is allowed to set up a payment plan over the life of his eligibility.

"Sid is a great kid, and I'm glad we finally have a decision," said 12th-year Bulldogs coach Rick Stansbury, who led his team to the 2010 Western Division crown and the 16th 20-win season in school history. "Now, we can move forward with the appeal process."

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