NCAA hits Saint Mary’s with recruiting violations

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MORAGA, CALIF. (AP) - The NCAA has placed Saint Mary’s on four years’ probation for “failure to monitor its men’s basketball program,” reducing scholarships after it says the perennial mid-major power committed several recruiting violations.

The NCAA Committee on Infractions also said Friday that Gaels coach Randy Bennett “acted unethically in his recruitment of international prospects” and “failed to promote an atmosphere for compliance.” Bennett will not be allowed to recruit off campus and will serve a five-game suspension next season.

Saint Mary’s will still be allowed to participate in its conference tournament and the NCAA tournament, but can’t play in preseason or in-season tournaments. The program also will have a reduction in scholarships from 13 to 11 for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

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