AP Sports Writer
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas has fired coach Rick Barnes after 17 seasons, people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.
Texas athletic director Steve Patterson made the decision after meeting with Barnes on Saturday, according to the people who requested anonymity because the school wasn't expected to make a formal announcement before Sunday.
Barnes was the winningest coach in program history and had only one losing season. He won three Big 12 titles and his teams made it to the NCAA Tournament 16 times. Texas made the Final Four in 2003.
But Barnes faced increasing criticism from fans after several years of early exits from the tournament, including a first-round loss to Butler this year.
Barnes will be paid a $1.75 million severance under his contract.
The firing was first reported by the Austin American-Statesman.
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