Tennessee Barnes Basketball

The University of Tennessee extended the contract of men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes on Monday. The contract runs through the 2027-28 season. Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee has extended Coach Rick Barnes’ contract through the 2027-28 season, which should help ensure he finishes his career with the Volunteers.

Athletic Director Danny White announced the extension that adds a year onto Barnes’ contract with no change in his supplemental pay of $5.75 million for each of the final two seasons. White said it was a thrill to keep building the program that Barnes has developed.

Former South Portland star J.P. Estrella is a freshman at Tennessee this season.

“Our fans have responded to help create an electric atmosphere on game days, and I can’t wait to watch the Vols continue our quest for more championships under Rick’s leadership,” White said in a statement.

Barnes, who turned 69 in July, is going into his ninth season at Tennessee and 37th as a head coach. He is 779-406 in his career and currently 15th of all time for most Division I wins.

Under Barnes, Tennessee has made five straight NCAA Tournaments, won at least 25 games four times and has been a top four seed in the NCAA Tournament four times. The Vols have appeared in The Associated Press Top 25 under Barnes 38 times, spending four weeks ranked No. 1.

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FOOTBALL

COLORADO: Deion Sanders stood up for Henry Blackburn on Tuesday after the Colorado State safety received death threats for a late hit that sent Colorado’s two-way star Travis Hunter to the hospital with a lacerated liver.

“That’s absurd for people to be threatened,” the Colorado coach said at his weekly news conference. “I don’t mind getting death threats. I get them every week. But a kid, it’s not good. … He does not deserve a death threat over a game. At the end of the day, this is a game – someone must win, someone must lose. Everybody continues their life the next day. Very unfortunate.”

Blackburn delivered a late blow to Hunter’s midsection on an incomplete pass in the first quarter of the Rocky Mountain Showdown last weekend. The Rams’ senior drew a flag for unnecessary roughness, one of 17 penalties the Rams committed in the 43-35 double-overtime loss to the Buffaloes. Hunter went to the hospital for further evaluation.

MICHIGAN STATE: Suspended Coach Mel Tucker said that he is “disappointed – but not surprised” that the school intends to fire him for misconduct involving activist and rape survivor Brenda Tracy and suggested that “other motives are at play” in the school’s decision.

The university informed Tucker on Monday that he will be fired without compensation for misconduct involving Tracy, who said Tucker sexually harassed her during a phone call in April 2022. She later filed a complaint with the school’s Title IX office, which completed its investigation in July.

Tucker, 51, has said the allegations against him are “completely false.”

He said in a statement Tuesday that he is “disappointed –but not surprised – to learn that MSU intends to terminate my contract over Ms. Tracy’s improper public disclosure of the entire 1200-page investigation file regarding her baseless complaint against me.”

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