For those who have forgotten, the Saint Mary’s Gaels have officially started their four-year probation period at the end of this past season. The sanctions which were handed down to the university were, but not limited to, a reduction in scholarships and a five-game suspension for coach Randy Bennett starting next season
The biggest part of their sanctions is the reduction of scholarships all BUT banning them from post-season play, meaning it is going to be near impossible for Bennett to lure top-tier recruits to the program. Heck, it is going to be hard for him to lure any recruits, regardless of talent, to Saint Mary’s.
How Bennett handles this situation will show a lot about him as well as the resolve of the program. Nobody expects them to be overly competitive going forward. In fact, it would be unfair to think they are going to have strong seasons going forward, even if it was their own doing that put them in this situation.
It is obvious that Bennett and the program as a whole needs to move forward from their own doings. Going forward, Saint Mary’s needs to make sure to dot all the “I’s” and even double check that it crossed all of those “T’s”. Even that, however, will not be enough to get through this dark period with some dignity.
Saint Mary’ can help set an example of a program who has taken responsibility for its actions, but will continue to do the best it can to build a strong, respectable basketball team — albeit a team that will lack some serious talent thanks to some less-than-flattering decisions it made in the past.
Someone get the Gaels a flashlight. They have a dark and unforgiving road ahead of them. Better make sure to give them extra batteries as well — four years is a long time to be messing around in the dark.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone