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Pitt athletics director Scott Barnes officially takes post at Oregon State

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt athletics director Scott Barnes had been rumored to take the same job at Oregon State for a while now. On Friday, that became official.

Barnes issued this statement upon notice that he would be leaving:

"Upon accepting the athletic director position at the University of Pittsburgh more than 18 months ago, I mentioned how honored and humbled my family was to join the ‘Pitt Family,’" Barnes said. "During our time here, we’ve learned, more and more, how fitting that description really is. Pitt is an incredibly special place with wonderful people who have become like family for us.

"That’s why leaving the university to accept the athletic director position at Oregon State was such a difficult decision. Ultimately, we felt this was a choice we had to make based on some very important personal family considerations.

"The University of Pittsburgh is a world-class institution with tremendous history. But I sincerely believe the university’s future under the leadership of Chancellor Gallagher will be even more accomplished. I also know that Pitt Athletics is poised for great achievements and championships. It has been an honor to serve Pitt’s student-athletes and staff. Although we are moving on, I can assure you the people of Pitt will always be an important part of us."

Along with his new job is a slightly different title. Barnes will be the Vice President/Director of Athletics. Whether that carries any more responsibility isn't clear at this time but, well, there you have it.

Many people will point to the Kevin Stallings hire and immediately dismiss Barnes' tenure here. I've got a bit of a different spin that I'll be presenting a bit later, but regardless of what you think of him, he's gone.

Barnes previously issued a statement about not having accepted the job but as I pointed out at the time, if you read between the lines in that brief release, it said nothing about staying at Pitt - only that he hadn't yet taken the job.

One thing I found a bit curious was Barnes' recent action on Twitter. After being absent from posting on Twitter for nearly two weeks, Barnes said this just yesterday:

Mentioning the Panthers' ticket sales for bowl games isn't anything new to Barnes, who has (rightfully so), taken every opportunity to mention how well the school was selling tickets. No one would fault him for announcing the second allotment of tickets being sold out. But the part at the end about seeing everyone in New York?

That's just sort of odd.

Maybe he is still planning on attending, although I can't imagine that. But even if he is, I don't know - I didn't get that part of it. With rumors swirling that you've taken another job, why blatantly throw that out there at all? It's just something fans will use to throw back at him on the way out.

Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, who found Barnes in the first place, has stated they will be conducting a full nationwide search for Barnes' replacement.

"Scott Barnes is an outstanding athletic director and has been wholeheartedly committed to the success of our student-athletes during his time at Pitt," Gallagher said. "I am very sorry to see him leave, but I know that Scott is doing what is best for his family, and I wish them well as he takes on his new role at Oregon State."

"My focus now turns to building the next chapter in Pitt Athletics," Gallagher said. "We are launching a national search to identify the next great leader of our athletics program—one that helps offer student-athletes both a great education and a chance to win at the highest levels of collegiate sports."

As I noted before, Barnes will have his luck cut out for him at Oregon State. Yes, it's a P5 job, but the Beavers have been miserable in basketball making a single NCAA Tournament in the past 25+ years. The football program hasn't been that bad, but has also suffered three straight losing years. Pitt is a much more attractive job at the moment so it's very easy to buy that this was more about family than anything else.

For Pitt, it's time to hit the reset button (again).

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