College basketball: Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett (pictured) must serve a five-game suspension and won’t be allowed to recruit off campus this season as the NCAA has upheld penalties against the successful mid-major program for recruiting violations.
In making the announcement Monday from the NCAA’s infractions appeals committee, the NCAA has denied Bennett’s appeal that included the claim of a procedural error involved. The school says Bennett’s penalty begins on Dec. 30 at midnight for five games, including one nonconference contest.
In March, the NCAA put Saint Mary’s on four years of probation for a “failure to monitor its men’s basketball program,” reducing scholarships by two for the 2014-15 and 15-16 seasons.
Saint Mary’s will still be allowed to participate in the league tournament and the NCAA tournament but can’t play in preseason or in-season tournaments they are not already contractually obligated to attend.
Eastern fourth, sixth in FCS polls
College football: Three Big Sky Conference teams are ranked in the Top 10 of the Football Championship Subdivision coaches’ poll.
Montana State is ranked fifth, Eastern Washington sixth and Montana is ranked ninth in the coaches’ poll released Monday. MSU moved up two spots despite a weekend bye while Montana moved up a spot after its 42-7 win at UC Davis.
In the Sports Network Poll, Eastern Washington is ranked fourth, Montana State fifth and Montana 10th. MSU is up two spots and UM is up one spot. Northern Arizona is ranked 19th in The Sports Network poll and 21st by the coaches.