In a move that shocked few, Renardo Sidney is back while Elgin Bailey’s career at Mississippi State is over.
Bulldogs coach Rick Stansbury announced the decisions on Monday afternoon.
The two players traded haymakers in the stands back in Hawaii on Dec. 23 while watching another game at the Diamond Had Classic.
Stansbury said both players would be suspended indefinitely – until he was able to collect more information about the embarrassing altercation and also see if the two players lived up to the stipulations set in order for them to return.
But did anyone really think that Stansbury was going to send Sidney packing?
Not a chance.
No matter who was at fault in the fight, Stansbury has way too much invested in Sidney – the highly touted and talented forward who was suspended by the NCAA for nearly a year and a half.
Bailey may have been the team captain, but the bottom line is that the 6-foot-8 redshirt junior is expendable.
He was averaging just 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds – both career-highs in his four seasons in Starkville.
Sidney – if he buys in and plays hard – is a difference-maker.
Stansbury and the Bulldogs even tried to make it look like Bailey wanted to transfer.
C’mon, Rick. How naïve do you think we all are?
``As for this team, it’s time to move on and learn from these mistakes,” Stansbury said in a statement. ``Hopefully, by sending Sid and Elgin home following the incident, a strong message was sent that this type of behavior is unacceptable.”
But Sidney has received yet another chance – after missing a grand total of two games this time.
He’ll be back in uniform this weekend for the start of SEC play, along with point guard Dee Bost, who becomes eligible after his NBA Draft deadline debacle.
Stansbury had an opportunity to show that winning wasn’t above everything.