by Bill DiFilippo / @bflip33

Randy Bennett’s appeal to the NCAA has been shot down, and the longtime St. Mary’s coach will be forced to sit out his team’s first five games due to recruiting violations.

The ruling from the NCAA came down yesterday. The organization also upheld other punishments against the Gaels yesterday, including four years of probation and scholarship reductions for the next two years. Due to an NCAA investigation that was released in March, St. Mary’s is under four years of probation for these infractions.

Along with the five game ban, Bennett will not be allowed to recruit off-campus this season.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

Bennett issued a statement that said, “I’m disappointed with the decision by the NCAA Infractions Committee on my appeal of the penalties. But it’s time to move on and focus on success in our program. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved and I think there is more we can do. We have a great group of student-athletes and I’m looking forward to the season.”

The Gaels will face off against Louisiana Tech, Akron, North Dakota State, Drake and Alcorn State without its coach.