It Must Be Bad if Tim Floyd Won’t Take You…Posted by nvr1983 on May 4th, 2009
We briefly mentioned last week that 6’10 prep star Renardo Sidney from Fairfax HS (CA) committed to Mississippi St. in a bit of a recruiting surprise, given that Sidney’s family had moved from the South to the bright lights of LA three years ago to improve Renardo’s ‘brand’ recognition before hitting the NBA (a move later echoed by the OJ Mayo to USC manuever). It was especially odd given Sidney’s televised press conference from Feb. 22 of this year where he publicly (yet awkwardly) committed to the hometown Trojans.
We are all aware that Tim Floyd’s USC program is rapidly becoming the Tark-era UNLV of the new century in terms of taint around the margins. Yet, in a move that must have absolutely stunned the rest of the Pac-10, last week USC turned its back on Sidney and rescinded its scholarship offer. According to an investigative piece by the LA Times that came out over the weekend, USC administrators simply could not get comfortable with the peculiarities surrounding the Sidney’s family’s financial situation, and ultimately decided to pass. From the article:
“It’s highly unusual for both of those schools [UCLA and USC] to abandon their recruitment of a player of that caliber and potential,” said George Raveling, a former college coach — at USC and elsewhere — who works the Southern California area for Nike. “They must know something the rest of us don’t know.” [...] Bruins and Trojans sources both say they were wary of potentially intense NCAA scrutiny prompted by these issues: Despite what was perceived as a limited income, the family moved multiple times and resided in upscale homes during Sidney’s high school years [incl. a home in Hancock Park valued at $1.2M]; and stepfather Renardo Sr. directed a club basketball team with financial backing that was unclear beyond a relatively modest shoe company sponsorship. Plus there was this: A source intimately familiar with Sidney’s recruitment said a university official thought the stepfather had strongly hinted that he expected to be compensated if his son signed with the school.
Mississippi St. may have opened a Pandora’s box in signing this kid. MSU may be in the SEC, but this isn’t football and the Bulldogs aren’t named “Alabama” or “Georgia.” The NCAA undoubtedly has already caught wind of this story, and as soon as they finish up with powerhouse programs Northeastern and Georgia Southern, they should be able to focus on plucking a ripe SEC school off the branches (one that doesn’t wield much power in a secondary sport in that league).
Seriously, though, is there any chance that we ever see Renardo Sidney in a college uniform? His father is probably already talking to Sonny Vaccaro about pulling a Brandon Jennings/Jeremy Tyler in Europe next year. Hang on, folks, the transatlantic express is getting more crowded…