ESPN.com and the Associated Press is reporting that the Saint Mary's College men's basketball program has been under investigation for potential recruiting violations and that the college is cooperating with NCAA investigators.
Specifics remain hard to come by as both NCAA officials and the college's athletic directors have declined to answer multiple requests for information. ESPN.com reported Friday that an email was sent from the president's office to the Saint Mary's board of regents "acknowledging that the college was cooperating with an ongoing NCAA investigation into the men's basketball program."
Mike McAlpin, Saint Mary's director of media relations, confirmed that the school is in contact with the NCAA in an interview with USA Today.
"Saint Mary's College and the NCAA have been working cooperatively on a matter related to the men's basketball program," McAlpin told the newspaper in an email Friday afternoon. "To respect the integrity of that process, the college will have no further comment at this time."
The NCAA has declined all comment.
Citing unnamed sources, ESPN.com reported that former Saint Mary's assistant David Patrick has been interviewed by the NCAA. Patrick, who is currently an assistant coach at LSU, left the Gaels in 2010 to become a scout for the Houston Rockets. He was suspended for a year by the NBA for working out players during the lockout, and assisted in recruiting several
The Gaels have become regular WCC title contenders, largely due to their eye for Australian talent. Coach Randy Bennett assumed the coaching role at Saint Mary's in 2001 and led the Gaels from a 9-20 (3-11 WCC) season in his first year to being NCAA tournament qualifiers in four of his next 10 seasons, reaching the Sweet 16 in 2010 and winning the WCC outright in 2012.