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Colorado State Interim Head Coach Steve Barnes Allegedly Is Key Figure In Larry Eustachy Investigation

Barnes is referred to as Eustachy’s “right-hand guy” by a former Colorado State athletic department staff member.

Colorado State v Louisville Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

A bit more than a week after Colorado State launched a formal investigation into the conduct of head coach Larry Eustachy, more details in the allegations against the sixth-year program director are beginning to emerge, specifically in regards to the role that associate-turned-interim coach Steve Barnes has played in the presumed “atmosphere of fear and intimidation”. Barnes, who has worked under Eustachy for twenty-two years throughout his career, is noted by an anonymous former Rams athletic department staff member as Eustachy’s “right-hand guy” who “was even worse than Larry (Eustachy)” at most times.

The former staffer, who spoke to The Coloradoan’s Kelly Lyell, stated that “the university deserves better, the players deserve better, everybody involved deserves better treatment than that. People work too hard at Colorado State to make it a great place for two individuals to tear it down. They went on to add “that there’s a difference between coaching hard and just being emotionally abusive and verbally abusive and manipulative, from seeing how (Eustachy and Barnes) would treat the academic staff, to the strength and conditioning staff.’’

Barnes was named as the Rams’ interim head coach on Saturday, just hours before the team’s 76-67 defeat at the hands of Nevada, when it was made public that Eustachy would serve an “administrative leave” as the school conducted their investigation. Colorado State would also go on to lose Tuesday night on the road at Air Force, for the team’s seventh consecutive loss. The Rams are now 10-16 overall on the season and 3-10 in conference play, ahead of only a win-less San Jose State squad.

It’s also been noted by players within the Colorado State program that Eustachy and Barnes, who are old friends and played college basketball together at Chico State, are extremely similar in terms of their personality and that the duo “coach basically the same”. Barnes himself commented that it’s been “business as usual” for the program since he’s been given the reigns, although adding that he is not allowed to comment on the current situation regarding Eustachy. Players within the Colorado State program also aren’t allowed to communicate with Eustachy during his current leave either.

While it’s unknown at the moment what the results of the investigation surrounding Eustachy may be, it’s hard to now ignore the fact that Barnes (and potentially other members of the Colorado State staff) may be integral figures in the eventual findings by the school.

For now however, Colorado State will need to try to refocus on the hardwood, where they’ll try to snap their long losing skid at home on Saturday against San Jose State.


For more on this story, check out Kelly Lyell’s article in the Coloradoan.

UPDATE: As was speculated, Colorado State has placed interim coach Steve Barnes on leave for his possible role in the ongoing investigation.

Keep checking back for all the updates on this situation.