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MSU’s Beckham Heads To UK; Bailey To SE Louisiana

It looks like two former Mississippi State basketball players are well on their way to restarting their careers elsewhere.

Two weeks ago, junior forward Elgin Bailey left the MSU program following a televised fistfight with teammate Renardo Sidney during a trip to Hawaii for a holiday tournament.  He is already enrolled at Southeastern Louisiana.

At about the same time as Bailey’s departure, sophomore guard Twany Beckham announced that he was leaving Starkville, too.  Beckham was spotted yesterday attending practice at Kentucky.  The Louisville native started the first five games of the season at point guard for the Bulldogs.

Both players will have to sit out a year before playing at their new schools.

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As Expected, Bailey Leaves And Sidney Stays At MSU

Let’s say you have two cars.  One car is a Ford Focus.  The other is a Ferrari.  The Focus you picked up at the local car lot.  The Ferrari you had to have shipped in from overseas.  You had to go through a year or red tape just to secure it.

Now let’s say that you can only keep one of your cars.  Which one do you keep?


Well, Elgin Bailey is the Ford Focus and Renardo Sidney is the Ferrari.

Not long after the two Mississippi State teammates duked it out on television from the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii, various website reported that Bailey would take the fall and Sidney would survive.  MSU officials shot down the reports and said Rick Stansbury would figure out a punishment for each player in his own good time.

Turns out, all those initial reports were correct.  Sidney stays.  Bailey goes.  Of course.  If you’re Stansbury, you can’t boot a guy who you recruited, signed (despite numerous red flags) and fought with the NCAA over for more than a year.

MSU fans will no doubt point out that Bailey asked to transfer.  Even the player’s guardian told Kyle Veazey of The Jackson Clarion-Ledger that the family approached Stansbury about a release yesterday. 

But the skeptic in me believes Stansbury might have really been the first person to suggest a transfer was in order.  “Leave peacefully and you can say it was your decision.”  Believe me, that kind of thing goes on all… the… time.

For the record, Stansbury said the following via press release:

“Elgin told me of his plans to transfer, and I wish him the best as he moves on.  He’s worked extremely hard for us during his time here.  Elgin has had to deal with some very tough injuries, but he’s worked very hard to get to where he is now.  Wherever he ends up, I hope he’s able to have a lot of succss.  As for this team, it’s time to move on and learn from these mistakes.  Hopefully, by sending Sid and Elgin home following the incident, a strong message was sent that this type of behavior is unacceptable.”

According to the release, Sidney’s suspension over the fight has now been lifted.  The big man was also suspended for a game prior to the Bailey fight for a scuffle in practice and reported acts of “insubordination.”

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Stansbury Says Sidney/Bailey Decisions Will Be His Alone

With Mississippi State preparing for a game against St. Mary’s in Las Vegas tomorrow, Andy Katz reported today that “sources close to the team” have told ESPN that Rick Stansbury is “working off an investigation that (Elgin) Bailey was the instigator” in last week’s much-publicized fight with teammate Renardo Sidney.

Supposedly, Bailey did not “move his feet in the aisle while Sidney was trying to walk past him.”  (Well, that’s something to fight about.)  According to Katz’ sources, if Sidney had started the fight — and not Bailey — then Sidney would have already been dismissed from the team.

As for his eventual discipline, Stansbury said: “It’s going to be my decision.  Our athletic department can be a part of it, and Scott (Stricklin) and I have talked about it.  But the one thing I’ve always done in my program is to make the right decisions about my program.  This was an embarrassing situation for everybody.”

One would have to question at this point if bringing the controversial Sidney onto his team was, in fact, the right decision for his program.

“I don’t like the perception, but anybody who knows our program over the past 13 years knows we’ve had no problems,” Stansbury said.  “In my 13 years, there hasn’t been a public embarrassment.  This isn’t the norm.  It just happened.  I won’t understand why it happened.  It just happened.  And if people don’t do right in our program, then we’ll hold them accountable.”

And when might his discipline be handed down?

“When I get back from this trip, (the decision) will be pretty quick.”

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No Decision Yet On MSU’s Bailey, Sidney

A Mele Kalikimaka it was not for Mississippi State. 

Last weekend’s trip to the Diamond Head Classic turned out to be a Christmas trip to forget.  The Bulldogs dropped two out of three games and beat only 1-10 San Diego while playing in paradise.  But that wasn’t the worst of it.

Big men Renardo Sidney and Elgin Bailey got into a fistfight — no, really — in the stands between games last Thursday.  The fight was caught by ESPN cameras and the clip found its way onto all manner of disreputable websites.

Both players were sent home from Honolulu and suspended indefinitely.  Sidney had already been suspended for a game earlier in the week due to a rumble in practice and “insubordination.”

A blog reported Saturday that Bailey was to be dismissed from the team while Sidney would eventually be allowed to return, but MSU officials shot down that report.

Rick Stansbury said Saturday that he would evaluate both players’ situations when the team made it back to campus.  In other words, today’s probably Evaluation Day in Starkville. 

(CORRECTION — As pointed out by one of our readers, the above story clearly states that MSU is playing St. Mary’s in Las Vegas on Wednesday.  I have not tracked down State’s travel plans as of yet, but it makes sense that they would stay west and not return to Starkville until Thursday.  In other words, there might not be any word on Bailey and Sidney until late this week.)

Not a good Christmas for Stansbury and his Bulldogs.  The only thing missing was the unexpected arrival of Cousin Eddie in a beat-up RV.

(Sidenote — You don’t know how tough it is not to type “Elgin Baylor” everytime Elgin Bailey makes news.)

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SEC Christmas Day Headlines

1. Renardo Sidney and Elgin Bailey suspended indefinitely by Mississippi State.

2. Tough couple of weeks for LSU sports.

3. Alabama will get $4.6 million from the Capital One Bowl – where does it all go?

4. A sophomore walk-on is the top scorer on the Alabama football team.

5. Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones’ last challenge before an NFL career is the Alabama offense.

6. The AD saga at Georgia was this writer’s top story of the year.

7. Bruce Pearl’s challenge to his basketball team: “Do you want to act like the team that was picked fourth in the [SEC] East? Because teams that get picked fourth in the East don’t go to the NCAA tournament. They don’t.”

8. How John Calipari learned that charity begins at home.

9. With a win over St. Louis, Ole Miss finishes third in the Cancun Governor’s Cup.

10. LSU’s Patrick Peterson is the state of Louisiana’s defensive player of the year.

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