Saint Mary’s and head coach Randy Bennett have lost an appeal to the NCAA to have their sanctions dropped according to John Infante of the Bylaw Blog.
Bennett will serve a five-game this season during WCC games and the program will lose two scholarships in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, for what the NCAA deemed a failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance.
Bennett appealed both the findings and the sanctions (he was required to file a separate appeal for the penalties assessed to him) and lost both cases based on the findings.
John Infante of the Bylaw Blog broke down the rulings:
Bennett challenged not just the suspension imposed on him but also the findings of the Committee on Infractions. The Infractions Appeals Committee did not rule on one of Bennett’s points, that the Notice of Allegations was too unspecific. Instead, the IAC simply ruled that there was enough evidence presented to the COI to find the violations charged and those violations were enough to support the penalty imposed on Bennett.
The good news for the Gaels is that the NCAA sanctions didn’t change their postseason aspirations, although the loss of Bennett during five conference games will hurt them this season. The scholarship losses should affect Saint Mary’s in future seasons, but not in the immediate future.