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Mississippi State players suspended after fight at Diamond Head Classic

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 09:27 p.m. HST, Dec 24, 2010


The two Mississippi State players caught on camera fighting in the stands of the Diamond Head Classic have been suspended indefinitely and sent home from Hawaii.

Renardo Sidney and Elgin Bailey, who are roommates, were involved in a fistfight after the Bulldogs' game Thursday night. The altercation lasted for several minutes before being broken up by teammates and coaches.

"I'm very sorry for this incident," Sidney said in a statement released by the university. "I had no intention of this ever happening. I apologize for embarrassing my family, all the Mississippi State fans, my teammates and coaches.

"I will learn from this and move on."

MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin sent out a tweet on Friday saying "The actions that took place in Hawaii were embarrassing to all of us who love Mississippi State. This behavior will not be tolerated."

In a release from the university, coach Rick Stansbury expressed his disappointment.

"In my 13 years as a head coach, we've never had anything like this happen before," he said. "I am very disappointed in the actions of Elgin Bailey and Renardo Sidney and in no way does it reflect the overall picture of our program. It is not how we want our men's basketball team to be viewed nationally."

It's the latest in a string of issues for Sidney. The NCAA ruled last March he had to repay $11,800 in improper benefits and sit out the remainder of the 2010 season and nine more games this season.

It's a huge blow for the Bulldogs, who are now without two of their best frontcourt players. Sidney, a 6-foot-10 sophomore who was one of the most highly recruited players of the 2009 class, has averaged 15.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in two games this season. Bailey, a 6-foot-8 junior, has started 10 out of 11 games and is averaging 6.2 points and 3.9 rebounds.

Sidney and Bailey will miss at least the next two games. MSU (8-4) plays Hawaii on Saturday in the Diamond Head Classic and then travels to Las Vegas to face St. Mary's on Wednesday.

Sidney and Bailey got into the altercation about 10 minutes before the tipoff of the game between tournament host Hawaii and Utah at the Stan Sheriff Center.

 

Sidney was seen being escorted away by arena ushers and Honolulu Police, who said later that nobody was arrested.

Sidney scored 19 points in the Bulldogs' 69-52 win over San Diego earlier Thursday while Bailey had two points.

Sidney, a highly touted McDonald's All-American out of Fairfax (Los Angeles) High, has appeared in just two games this season and scored 31 points with nine rebounds. Just this week, he was suspended by Stansbury for "conduct detrimental to the team" and was benched for the first-round game loss to Washington State on Wednesday.






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