CSU interim basketball coach Steve Barnes placed on administrative leave

Colin Barnard

Colorado State basketball’s interim head coach Steve Barnes joined head coach Larry Eustachy on paid administrative leave, the university announced Saturday morning. 

the coach yells from the sideline, pointing
Interim coach Steve Barnes yells from the sidelines during the Nevada game. Barnes is stepping in while CSU investigate head coach, Larry Eustachy. (Ashley Potts | Collegian)

The announcement comes in light of the ongoing climate assessment into the conduct of head coach Larry Eustachy. A reported enabler of Eustachy’s conduct, Barnes lost the two games he served as the interim coach. Assistant coach Jase Herl will coach the Rams against San Jose State Saturday afternoon.

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“Colorado State University Director of Athletics Joe Parker today placed Coach Steve Barnes on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an ongoing climate assessment Parker is leading of the men’s basketball program,” the athletic department said in a statement.

Barnes’ behavior with the team was called into question this week when CSU players boycotted practice Thursday afternoon. In addition to their frustration with the lack of communication between them and the athletic department, the players were upset that Barnes was named interim coach, Sean Star reported.

Prior to Friday’s practice, which the team did participate in, Joe Parker met with the players beforehand to discuss the assessment.

Barnes and Eustachy have known each other since childhood, playing high school basketball and rooming together at Chico State. The two have coached together throughout the majority of their careers, including stints at Idaho, Utah State, Iowa State, Southern Mississippi and Colorado State.

During Eustachy’s conflict-laden ending at Iowa State, Barnes was also surrounded by controversy. Amid negotiations between the university and Eustachy to part ways with the coach, Barnes allegedly encouraged team members and their families to protect Eusatchy’s job, leading to his suspension just one day after being named interim head coach.

Collegian sports director Colin Barnard can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @ColinBarnard_.