Barnes’ raise criticized; but taxpayers aren’t paying for it

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Rick Barnes’ $200,000 raise got the OK from the Texas Board of Regents Wednesday, but it’s not sitting well several state lawmakers.

Concerns were voiced by Sen. Kirk Watson, an Austin Democrat, nothing that the regents were ignoring a state budget crisis that could force cuts to higher education in Texas, according to a story from the AP.

Barnes, who was already making $2.2 million, was owed a $75,000 raise. Another $125,000 was added to ensure he stayed among the nation’s 10-highest paid coaches. The basketball coach was recognized for his “commitment, motivation and performance” and the desire to keep coaching the Longhorns.

But here’s the thing — the raise doesn’t come from tax money.

It’s part of the self-sustaining Texas athletic department.

Now, does Barnes deserve that type of money? He’s taken the Longhorns to the NCAA in each of his 13 seasons at the school, been to a Final Four, won Big 12 titles doe that despite consistently losing underclassmen early to the NBA draft.

One might say Texas has underperformed the last few seasons given the level of talent in Austin, but if Barnes’ boss deems his worthy of that contract and can give him a raise without it affecting the school’s budget, go for it.

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