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By MATTHEW STEVENS
Elgin Bailey is enrolled at Southeastern Louisiana University with the intent of playing basketball next season for the Lions program.
The Starkville Daily News learned Monday afternoon Mississippi State Universityâ€™s compliance office was informed by Southeastern Louisiana officials of the news late last week.
â€śElgin told me of his plans to transfer, and I wish him the best as he moves on,â€ť Stansbury said in the Jan. 3 release. â€śHeâ€™s worked extremely hard for us during his time here. Elgin has had to deal with some very tough injuries, but heâ€™s worked very hard to get to where he
is now. Wherever he ends up, I hope heâ€™s able to have a lot of success.â€ť
A Southeastern Louisiana menâ€™s basketball spokesperson refused to confirm the news saying only Tuesday marked the beginning of spring semester classes at the school. The Southeastern Louisiana University student directory currently lists the former MSU player.
The 6-foot-8 junior forward, who was involved in the brawl with Renardo Sidney in the stands during the Diamond Head Classic on the night of Dec. 23, informed the Mississippi State coaching staff two weeks ago of his wishes to leave the program with the intent to
transfer to another school.
â€śI want to apologize to Mississippi State, to the people in Hawaii and to the fans that were in the stands that witnessed everything,â€ť Bailey said in a school statement on Christmas Eve. â€śDue to me being a captain, I should have handled the situation in a much different way. It should have never gotten to the point that it did. I really am sorry that all of this happened, especially with it unfolding on TV like it did.â€ť
Sidney and Bailey, who were roommates on campus and on road trips, were caught by ESPNU cameras throwing punches in the stands about 10 minutes before the tip of the game between tournament host Hawaii and Utah at the Stan Sheriff Center. The video shows Sidney and Bailey
fighting before senior forward Kodi Augustus and walk-on forward Taylor Luczak pulled Sidney away. Mississippi State assistant coach Marcus Grant, along with a Hawaiian security guard then led Sidney down to the playing court.
â€śOur athletic staff, coaches and student-athletes have a
responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner that brings credit and honor to our university,â€ť Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin said. â€śThe actions that took place Thursday night in Hawaii were embarrassing to all of us who love Mississippi State
University and our athletic program.Â This behavior will not be tolerated.â€ť
Bailey appeared in 74 games during his career with the Bulldogs and recorded 229 points, 161 rebounds along with 44 blocked shots. The junior forward, who was named team captain this offseason, was averaging 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds this season.
Attempts on Monday by the Starkville Daily News to contact Bailey were unsuccessful.
Under NCAA rules, Bailey enrolling in at Southeastern Louisiana for this spring semester means heâ€™ll be ineligible for the fall semester of the 2011-12 season but will be able to play once the 2012 spring academic semester begins.
Southeastern Louisiana University is a Division 1 program out of the Southland Conference that has made the NCAA Tournament one time in school history (as a 15-seed in 2005 and the Lions lost 63-50 to Oklahoma State).
The Lions came to Humphrey Coliseum to play Mississippi State last year in the second game of the 2009-10 season and before he would sit out due to injury, Bailey played three minutes and attempted one field goal in Stateâ€™s 82-67 victory.