Rick Barnes says he wanted to stay as Texas coach

UT, Longhorns
UT, Longhorns
By JIM VERTUNO
AP Sports Writer

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Fired Texas basketball coach Rick Barnes says the athletic director told him a week ago he'd return for another season, but "some things changed."

At a farewell news conference Sunday, Barnes insisted he's not bitter about the dismissal. But he said he was "shocked" by what he said were athletic department leaks to the media in recent days that he was being pressured to fire his assistant coaches to save his own job.

Barnes says several staff members offered to quit but he refused. He said he didn't want to give up control over his staff.

Athletic director Steve Patterson did not attend the news conference. The school said in a statement the two sides parted by mutual consent. Barnes said he told Patterson he wanted to stay.

He had four years left on his contract and is due a severance payment of $1.75 million.

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