Earlier today, Texas held a teleconference to discuss the independent review that the school has opened regarding allegations of academic impropriety within the men’s basketball program.
During the call, the university’s new president, Greg Fenvus, happened to be asked about former head coach Rick Barnes. Barnes had been the head coach of the Longhorns for 17 years, including the time at which these allegations occurred. He parted ways with the school in March, and there had been some speculation that it had to do with these specific allegations.
“Rick Barnes’ departure had nothing to do with any academic infractions,” Fenvus said.
To my knowledge, that is a truthful statement.
Barnes was fired because it was time for the administration to make a change. After struggling in recent years, including a season in which Texas lost in the first round of the CBI to Houston, the Longhorns entered this season as a top ten team. They proceeded to finish the year 20-14 overall and 8-10 in the Big 12, losing eight out of 11 at one point. In the days before it became official, Barnes was told by his bosses to fire his staff, who he had worked with for a long time, or find a new job. Barnes is loyal, and it was not a secret that he would not fire his guys.
Barnes has since taken over as the head coach at Tennessee.