Vols’ Barnes used his own money to boost assistant’s salary

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes yells to his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against LSU on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Crystal LoGiudice)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee says men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes inadvertently committed a minor NCAA violation by paying money out of his own pocket to supplement the salary of one of his assistant coaches.

Barnes provided personal funds to assistant coach Desmond Oliver because he believed Oliver’s salary was deficient in relation to what his peers were making.

School officials say Barnes was unware NCAA rules prohibited him from supplementing an assistant’s pay with personal funds. Barnes was told to stop and that the assistant would get a raise.

Barnes received rules education and got no additional punishment. The Southeastern Conference didn’t impose any additional penalty.

The information was obtained through a public records request seeking a list of violations Tennessee reported to the NCAA last year. The Knoxville News-Sentinel first reported the violation.

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