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Renardo Sidney's attorney asks for Congressional intervention with NCAA

September 29, 2009 |  6:25 pm

The attorney for former Fairfax High standout Renardo Sidney has asked Congress to investigate what he labeled in a news release Tuesday as "racially selective conduct by the NCAA Enforcement Staff and Eligibility Center."

Attorney Donald Jackson said he has turned over "considerable" information to the


NCAA in an effort to have the player deemed eligible for his freshman season at Mississippi State, beginning in late November.

He said the NCAA has "demanded that Sidney and his family produce several years of bank records, income tax returns for family members (including grandparents) and cellular telephone records for every member of the family among other things."

The scrutiny followed a report by The Times that addressed the withdrawl of recruiting interest in Sidney from USC and UCLA. The Sidney family's ability to pay rent while living at two upscale Fairfax District homes concerned officials at both universities.

The NCAA has declined to certify Sidney because he has not provided the organization the documentation they have requested, spokeswoman Stacey Osburn told The Times Tuesday. Sidney can practice with the team now, but will be stopped from playing or traveling with the squad on road games under his current status, the NCAA says.

In a prepared statement, Osburn wrote, "Mr. Jackson continues to try to purposely confuse the matter at hand. The real issue is his failure to provide the requested documentation to the NCAA Eligibility Center on behalf of his client.

"The Eligibility Center determines what records are necessary to reach an accurate, well-informed decision on a prospective student-athlete’s initial eligibility. The NCAA Eligibility Center takes this responsibility seriously and only requests the information it needs to make such decisions. There is case precedent for requests of specific information, and the Eligibility Center’s requests for information from Mr. Jackson’s client is consistent with the established, standard process and previous requests for other prospective student-athletes."

--Lance Pugmire

Photo: Renardo Sidney. Credit: Los Angeles Times.