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Colorado State Places Interim Head Coach Steve Barnes On Leave

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(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

A second Colorado State head coach is on administrative leave in the span of a week. Now, it is interim head coach Steve Barnes.

It has been a wild week for Colorado State men's basketball. It is getting even more so, with interim head coach Steve Barnes following Larry Eustachy onto administrative leave.

Eustachy's leave was announced on February 3. The decision comes amid an investigation into his conduct as Rams head coach.

In 2014, the school instituted a "zero-tolerance" policy with regard to Eustachy's actions with his players. That came after he admittedly went "way over the line" with his handling of players.

According to reports, those actions included allegedly throwing chairs, punting basketballs, and punching a whiteboard. Most recently, he has been accused of singling out players and screaming profanities at them at practice and during halftime and after games.

Two days ago, The Denver Post reported that the program intends to fire Eustachy at the culmination of its investigation. From the report:

"CSU intends to terminate the coach’s contract based on Eustachy violating the zero tolerance policy he previously received regarding his abusive behavior toward players and staff, according to the source, who has direct knowledge of the school’s current investigation."

Now, The Post says that his replacement, interim coach Steve Barnes, has also been placed on leave. Matt L. Stephens reported this update today:

Colorado State has placed interim men’s basketball coach Steve Barnes on paid administrative leave just a week after he was put in charge of the program.

According to Stephens, players raised concerns about Barnes. He is called an "enabler" of Eustachy.

In a statement released Saturday, Parker didn’t give a reason why Barnes was placed on leave, but team sources say players spoke up about their concerns playing for Barnes in a meeting with the athletic director Friday.


According to multiple team sources, Barnes is a known enabler of Eustachy’s behavior. The two have coached together since the late 1990s and were high school and college basketball teammates. CSU has not responded to inquiries as to why Barnes was put in charge of the program.

Barnes has been a long-time assistant under Eustachy. After Eustachy's infamous suspension from Iowa State, he was suspended a day after being named ISU interim head coach for trying to rally support for Eustachy among players' family members.

Assistant coach Jase Herl will now take over as interim head coach. Colorado State tipped off against San Jose State at 4 p.m. ET.

[The Denver Post]