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Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett gets 5-game suspension

MORAGA — Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett must serve a five-game suspension and won't be allowed to recruit off campus this season as the NCAA has upheld penalties against the successful mid-major program for recruiting violations.

In making the announcement Monday from the NCAA's infractions appeals committee, the NCAA has denied Bennett's appeal that included the claim of a procedural error involved. The school says Bennett's penalty begins on Dec. 30 at midnight for five games, including one non-conference contest.

In March, the NCAA put Saint Mary's on four years of probation for a "failure to monitor its men's basketball program," reducing scholarships by two for the 2014-15 and 15-16 seasons.

Saint Mary's will still be allowed to participate in the league tournament and the NCAA tournament but can't play in preseason or in-season tournaments not already contractually obligated to attend.

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