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.