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Saint Mary’s, Randy Bennett File NCAA Appeals

Both Saint Mary's and its head men's basketball coach Randy Bennett have filed appeals in their major infractions case which was decided in March. Saint Mary's will appeal the loss of two scholarships for two years each as well as a two-year ban on out-of-season skill instruction. But Bennett is going further:

Coach Randy Bennett said he has filed a separate appeal of both the findings and penalties, but declined to provide further details.

Appeals of penalties from the Committee on Infractions are becoming more and more common. All sorts of penalties, including bowl bans, scholarship reductions, even vacation of wins has been in appeal in recent years. But appeals of the findings, challenging the determination that violations occurred and/or the violations were major are rare.

The NCAA already deferred one penalty, a ban on taking a foreign tour, for one year since Saint Mary's had already committed to taking one this year. Of all the appeals, at first glance the one with the best chance of being overturned is the ban on skill instruction. While practice reductions are not unheard of, this is a total ban on a certain type of practice for an extended period of time.

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