Texas to Rick Barnes: Change your staff or you will be fired

The Longhorns have given an ultimatum to Rick Barnes after their disappointing first-round exit.
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

By Larry Brown

Texas is dissatisfied with the status of its men’s basketball program and sent a message to head coach Rick Barnes.

According to My San Antonio’s Mike Finger, athletic director Steve Patterson had two meetings with Barnes and told the coach to make changes to his staffotherwise he would be fired.

The Longhorns were a bubble team that made the tournament but lost in the first round this season. They have not advanced to the Sweet Sixteen since 2008, which is unacceptable for the program.

Barnes is set to earn $2.5 million through 2019, but he can be bought out for $1.5 million after April.

Barnes has been with Texas since 1998 and has won a school record 402 games as Longhorns head coach. His best runs came over a decade ago when he reached the Elite Eight three straight seasons from 2002-2004, including a Final Four appearance. Future NBA players T.J. Ford and Royal Ivey starred on some of those teams, as did big man Brandon Mouton. Barnes also enjoyed success coaching stars like D.J. Augustin, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Kevin Durant at times during his Longhorns career.

Though Barnes is on the hot seat, there is little doubt that reshuffling his staff would buy him another year. He just needs to decide whether he is willing to let some of his assistants go, or if he’s going to go down with them.

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