By Tim Polzer
March 01, 2013

NCAA sanctions against St. Mary's including a five-game suspension for coach Randy Bennett next season. (Eric Francis/Getty Images) NCAA sanctions against St. Mary's including a five-game suspension for coach Randy Bennett next season. (Eric Francis/Getty Images)

The NCAA has sanctioned the St. Mary's College men's basketball program including placing the team on four years probation, reducing scholarships in 2014-15 & 2015-16, and suspending head coach Randy Bennett for five games next year. Bennett will also not be allowed to recruit off campus next year.

The NCAA put the program under investigation in September, looking into the program's recruitment of current and past Australian players.

According to ESPN, former assistant David Patrick was interviewed by the NCAA as part of an ongoing investigation. Patrick was heavily involved in recruiting Australian players, including point guard Patty Mills.

Australians on the 2012-13 roster are senior forward Mitchell Young, junior center Matt Hodgson and junior guard Jorden Page.

The influx of Australian players has been credited with helping the Gaels become regular contenders in the West Coast Conference.

From the NCAA's release:

Saint Mary’s College of California failed to monitor its men’s basketball program and a former assistant men’s basketball coach acted unethically in his recruitment of international prospects, according to a decision announced today by the Division I Committee on Infractions. The case also includes a failure to monitor and a failure to promote an atmosphere for compliance by the head men’s basketball coach as well as impermissible training and coaching sessions.

Penalties in the case include four years of probation, a reduction in men’s basketball scholarships during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years, a five-game suspension for the head coach during the 2013-14 season, recruiting restrictions and a two-year show cause for the former assistant coach. If the former assistant coach seeks employment at an NCAA member school during that two-year period, he and the school must appear before the Committee on Infractions to determine if the school should be subject to the show-cause procedures.

The former assistant coach knowingly committed violations during the recruitment of three prospects. When warned by the California Interscholastic Federation twice about the activities of the former assistant coach, the college did not proactively investigate the recruiting activities. Additionally, the men’s basketball team received impermissible training and coaching sessions from trainers not employed by the school.

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