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St. Mary's hit with four-year probation for violations

The SportsXchange

The NCAA placed St. Mary's on four years' probation for failure to monitor its men's basketball program, but the Gaels avoided a postseason ban in a ruling announced Friday.

The sanctions from the NCAA Committee on Infractions include the probation that runs through February 2017, scholarship reductions from 13 to 11 for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, a five-game suspension for coach Randy Bennett next season, recruiting limitations and a two-year show-cause penalty for a former assistant coach.

Bennett will not be permitted to recruit off campus next season and will sit out five games. The Division I Committee on Infractions determined that Bennett acted unethically and failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance in the men's basketball program.

The sanctions do not preclude St. Mary's, a mid-major power, from playing in the conference and NCAA touranments this year, but the Gaels will be barred from preseason and in-season tournaments until the 2015-16 season and foreign tours until the start of the 2017-18 season.

According to the Committee on Infractions, the former St. Mary's assistant coach committed violations in the recruitment of three players and the school did not act expediently when informed by the California Interscholarsic Federation of his activities. If the former assistant pursues a job at another NCAA school during a two-year period, St. Mary's could be subject to the show-cause procedures.

The NCAA also ruled that St. Mary's players received additional training and coaching sessions from trainers who were not part of the athletic department.
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