On March 1 the NCAA announced the sanctions given to Saint Mary’s as a result of NCAA rules violations in regards to recruiting and individual workouts. In response to the penalties, Saint Mary’s has appealed some of the sanctions as reported by the San Jose Mercury News.
Saint Mary’s, which is not disputing the NCAA’s findings, is appealing the loss of two scholarships for both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons and a two-year ban on skill instruction.
Head coach Randy Bennett, who was handed a five-game suspension (WCC conference games) for his failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance, is appealing both the findings and the sanctions (he’s required to file a separate appeal in regards to penalties assessed to him).
In addition to the suspension, Bennett is banned from recruiting off-campus for the entire 2013-14 season.
According to Saint Mary’s director of media relations Mike McAlpin, the school’s concern that the penalties would affect the student-athletes is the reason for the appeal.
In addition to the penalties being appealed by Saint Mary’s, there’s also the NCAA decision to ban the program from taking an overseas trip until the start of the 2017-18 season.
It remains to be seen how big of a deal this is, but given how much success the program’s had recruiting Australia the possibility of an off-season “homecoming” trip would be a nice carrot to offer prospective recruits.
With that option removed from the table, will that have an adverse impact on the Gaels’ recruiting efforts in Australia?
Saint Mary’s is also banned from taking part in a multi-team event for the next two seasons, which means they’ll need to do a better job with their non-conference scheduling in order to position themselves for an at-large NCAA tournament bid.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.