The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Friday that it has cited Saint Mary’s College of California with a failure to monitor its men’s basketball program after a head coach was found to have knowledge of a former assistant coach providing impermissible benefits to recruits. The benefits, mostly centered on an international prospect, included travel, local transportation and the arrangement of host family accommodations, the public infractions report said. The assistant coach also provided private financial information to a second international prospect who was trying to get a student visa. The NCAA Committee on Infractions said the head coach was aware of the team’s impermissible training from non-college employees and some of the recruiting violations and ignored “red flags” that should have prompted “heightened vigilance,” such as the assistant coach’s previous dismissal from a two-year college because of improprieties.
The head coach, Randy Bennett, was also charged with failure to monitor and failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance, and the former assistant coach was charged with unethical conduct.
Penalties for Saint Mary’s include public reprimand and censure; four years’ probation beginning March 1; a five-game suspension for the head coach during the 2013-14 season; a prohibition of off-campus recruiting for the head coach during next season; a two-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach, meaning that any college that wants to hire him must make its case to the NCAA; reduction of team scholarships from 13 to 11 for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons; elimination of foreign tours by the team until the 2017-18 season; prohibition on multiple-team events until the 2015-16 season; and prohibition on skill instruction during the 2013-14 season, meaning no coaches may be present during training.