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Report: Saint Mary’s under NCAA investigation

Sep 21, 2012, 5:26 PM EDT

Rand Bennett AP

The Saint Mary’s basketball team has grown considerably under Randy Bennett. The Gaels have qualified for the NCAA Tournament four times during Bennett’s 11-year stint as head coach.

However, multiple sources have confirmed with ESPN.com that Saint Mary’s has been under NCAA investigation this year, looking into possible recruiting violations.

According to ESPN’s Andy Katz the NCAA has declined to comment on the issue. He went on to add that it’s uncertain what Saint Mary’s is even under investigation for.

ESPN attempted to contact Bennett, athletic director, Mark Orr, director of media relations, Mike McAlpin. All of these calls went unanswered, except for McAlpin, who said he would look in to the matter, but hasn’t responded since last week, according to Katz.

Sources have also confirmed with ESPN.com that former assistant coach David Patrick was interviewed by the NCAA.

Patrick, now an assistant coach at LSU, abruptly left the Gaels in 2010 to become a scout for the Houston Rockets. Patrick, who was suspended for a year by the NBA for working out players during the lockout, helped recruit several Saint Mary’s players from Australia, notably guard Patty Mills.

Katz also noted that several WCC coaches stated Bennett was absent during the July recruiting periods. Bennett did have back surgery in June and when asked if Bennett was held out of recruiting or whether he was recovering from surgery, Saint Mary’s compliance officer, Stephanie Shrieve declined to comment, according to ESPN.

The Gaels finished 27-4 last season, before losing to Purdue in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

  1. mazblast - Sep 21, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    St. Mary’s must have beaten someone well known and powerful. Therefore, they must be investigated, found guilty, and punished.

    • gaelf1 - Oct 2, 2012 at 3:19 AM

      Either that or they cheated. They want to make a name for themselves so bad they broke the rules and got caught (at least that’s what I predict the NCAA will prove). They win their WCC league one year, lose in the 1st round of the tourney, and now they feel their little school is a conteder (what a joke!).

      I hope the rumors I’ve heard regarding Mr. Bennett aren’t true- he’s always been a stand-up guy. Everyone has their price…

  2. drarb - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Investigate St. MAry’s for who knows what, but ignore the academic fraud at UNC – only the ncaa could be that stupid.

  3. dcviking - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    “The NCAA is so mad at Kentucky, they put Cleveland State on probation.”

    —- Jerry Tarkanian

    You can change the names but song remains the same…

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