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If you think the Jeremy Tyler/San Diego High basketball saga was an ugly story this past winter, it could have been worse.

Tyler’s nemesis was Renardo Sidney of Los Angeles Fairfax. Sydney’s team played Tyler and the Cavers in that made-for-TV debacle broadcast by ESPN.

Long before Tyler talked about skipping his senior year in 2009-10 and playing basketball professionally in Europe or even China, there was speculation Sidney would make such a move since this year if he hadn’t achieved an NCAA academic qualifying score for eligibility.

But even though Sidney ultimately achieved a score to make him eligible next year, both USC and UCLA withdrew their scholarship offers for fear of a future NCAA cloud following Sidney to whatever campus he attends.

The story was detailed Monday in the Los Angeles Times:

The questions about how the Sidney family could afford to live in their homes in exclusive Los Angeles neighborhoods sounds all-to-familiar with the tale of how a player attempting to transfer to San Diego High to play with Tyler was ruled ineligible in part because the rent paid on his downtown condo couldn’t be explained.

Something else that is interesting is Sonny Vaccaro, the former shoe representative that is advising the Tyler family on his pro deal, says European teams will offer Tyler a six-figure deal but not Sidney. Vaccaro says he told Sidney he can’t get such a deal.

As I’ve said in my previous stories on Tyler, he’s basically a nice kid despite the controversies that have surrounded him. It’s too bad the runners for agents and the Sonny Vaccaro shoe salesman of the world won’t let him be a kid.

— TOM SHANAHAN

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