Reports surfaced on Friday afternoon, stating that the Saint Mary’s Gaels are under investigation by the NCAA for potential recruiting violations. ESPN‘s Andy Katz reported that the investigation into the men’s basketball program has been ongoing throughout the year.
Head coach Randy Bennett, who had back surgery in June, was not seen during the three separate evaluation periods this summer, according to the report and three West Coast Conference coaches.
It appears that there isn’t much known about the violations or the ongoing situation involving the Gaels’ men’s basketball program. Many of the school’s athletic administrators declined to comment when asked and it is unclear what or who the potential violations pertain to.
Former Gaels’ assistant coach Dave Patrick, now at LSU, was interviewed by the NCAA, according to the report. Partick, who left Saint Mary’s in 2010, spent time as a scout for the Houston Rockets, but was suspended from the NBA for working players out during the league’s lockout last fall.
Since taking over the program in 2001, Bennett has transformed the Gaels into a consistent west coast threat. The Gales have qualified for four NCAA Tournaments under Bennett, including two in the past three seasons. In 2010, Saint Mary’s made a run to the Sweet 16, their furthest advancement in the Big Dance in school history. In fact, the two victories that year marked the school’s first NCAA Tournament wins since 1959.
Thanks in large part to a flux of Australian talent, Bennett has built a pipeline that has included former star Patty Mills and current guard Matthew Dellavedova.
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