USU boosters gather without Barnes

Typically booster club luncheons are an athletic director’s playground. Lots of friendly faces, fat wallets and rah-rah atmosphere make such gatherings one of the easiest parts of the job.

Which makes it odd that USU athletic director Scott Barnes was not in attendance Monday at the Salt Lake City Homewood Suites when Aggie football coach Gary Andersen met with dozens of fans and a few media members.

Barnes, as one might expect, has his agenda full these days as he and university president Stan Albrecht scramble to ensure Utah State’s athletic future in light of the roller coaster conference affiliation ride the school has been on over the past two weeks.

Albrecht, likewise, wasn’t in the building though many fans filled with anxiety hoped to ask him a few questions.

Instead, USU sent fundraising and booster club reps Kent Stanley and Tom Hale to schmooze what was certainly an audience eager to hear some reassuring words.

Barnes, to his credit, had a perfectly good excuse: He was participating in a conference call with the NCAA basketball selection committee, of which he is a member — leaving a room packed with information-starved fans with only the tasty lunch provided by Iggy’s to chew on.

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