Apparently the NCAA didn’t lose complete function of what their purpose is supposed to be. Despite dealing with the Penn State Nittany Lions‘ sanction twice, never fully ruling on the Miami Hurricanes‘ situation (yet, maybe), the governing body of college sports did find the time to deny the appeal by the St. Mary’s Gaels and their head coach, Randy Bennett.
This is not incredibly surprising, but considering that the NCAA is as predictable as a T-Rex is good at dribbling a basketball, there was some hope for the Gaels. At the end of the day, however, this isn’t a deathblow for the program — at least in the immediate future.
Bennett will still have to serve a five-game in-conference schedule suspension. That might not seem like a ton, although Bennett is as important to the on-the-court success for St. Mary’s as he is to securing solid recruits. As for the program, well, they will lose two scholarships in 2014-15 and then again in 2015-16.
I will admit though that the NCAA is not reducing the five-game suspension is a wee bit surprising. One of their “findings” was appealed by the coach in the hopes that the “Notice of Allegations” was a little too unspecific. Somehow, magically because it is the NCAA, they still deemed the evidence as enough to uphold the ruling.
As for this season, the Gaels should be alright. Bennett will, however, have to utilize the scholarships at his disposal over the next few seasons to keep the depth at the program at a competitive level. The Gaels, mind you, have been a strong, always-building program for some time now. Hopefully they will overcome these setbacks and the NCAA will let them ride this out.