The NCAA came down hard on Saint Mary’s Friday with sanctions stemming from recruiting violations by the school and former assistant and director of basketball operations Keith Moss. Among the sanctions are:
– Four years probation from March 1, 2013 through February 28, 2017
– A five-game suspension during the 2013-14 season for head coach Randy Bennett
– An off-campus recruiting ban for Bennett during the 2013-14 academic year
– A two-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach, Moss
– Reduction of men’s basketball scholarships from 13 to 11 for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
– Elimination of foreign tours by the men’s basketball team until the start of the 2017-18 season.
– The men’s basketball team may not participate in a multiple-team event until the 2015-16 season.
– The men’s basketball team may not receive skill instruction during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.
With all of that, though, Saint Mary’s escapes without a postseason ban or show-cause penalty for Bennett, both of which would be more damaging for the coach and program. The biggest obstacles for the Gaels may be in scheduling, now that they will be barred from playing in preseason tournaments. Without the chance to beef up their non-conference schedule with those tournaments, the Gaels will need to be more ambitious in driving their strength of schedule through individual matchups.
Gonzaga will likely continue to be a power in the WCC, so with sanctions in place Saint Mary’s will need to keep up.
Ray Ratto of CSNBayArea.com had an alternative take on the sanctions, writing that “the punishers are on their heels as well, for deeds that far exceed Saint Mary’s.”
Read his piece here and check out video from CSN Bay Area below: