|Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett. Could his program be facing NCAA punishment for recruiting no-nos? (US Presswire)|
On any given day, so many football and basketball programs could be subject to NCAA inquiries.
But investigations? That's when things get serious. ESPN.com's Andy Katz reported Friday afternoon that the Saint Mary's men's basketball team, coached by Randy Bennett, is being looked at by the NCAA for "possible recruiting violations." Katz's report cites multiple sources but doesn't specify the nature of the potential violations.
"Saint Mary's College and the NCAA have been working cooperatively on a matter related to the men's basketball program," university officials told CBSSports.com late Friday. "To respect the integrity of that process, the College will have no further comment at this time."
So we don't know what could have possibly gone wrong, the rules broken or when. At least yet. No one on behalf of Saint Mary's has responded on the record as of Friday afternoon, and the NCAA isn't prepared to speak up yet.
More from ESPN.com:
Mike McAlpin, Saint Mary's director of media relations, said he would look into the matter and comment accordingly, but hasn't returned a call or message since last week.
Three West Coast Conference coaches told ESPN.com that they did not see Bennett at any site for the three recruiting evaluation periods in July. When asked whether Bennett, who had back surgery in June, was held out from recruiting in July or missed the period due to his recovery, Saint Mary's compliance director Stephanie Shrieve declined comment.
Saint Mary's associate athletic director Richard Kilwein also declined to comment when asked whether Bennett's surgery was the reason for his absence during the evaluation period. At one point, Kilwein said he wasn't allowed to speak to the media about the subject and that his job could be on the line if he did so.
Katz's report also makes note of a man named David Patrick, a former assistant at the school now at LSU. He left SMC in 2010, opting to take a job with the Houston Rockets, according to the report. He was eventually suspended for a year after breaking contact rules during last year's NBA lockout.
Saint Mary's has become a legitimate power in the West Coast Conference under Bennett, who has passed on other job opportunities to keep building the Gaels' program. The team has won 25 or more games the past five seasons and made four NCAA tournaments under Bennett. He has taken a liking to bringing in Australian players such as Olympian Matthew Dellavedova and current NBA player Patty Mills, who was recruited by Patrick.