Steve Patterson, the university's athletic director, 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, 60, was the winningest coach in program history with 402 victories in 17 seasons and had only one losing season. He won three
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, who has a 604-314 record in 28 seasons, will be paid a $1.75 million severance under his contract.
The firing was first reported by the Austin American-Statesman.
Florida Southern wins Division II title
Kevin Capers scored 24 points, Dylan Travis had 18 and Florida Southern defeated Indiana (Pa.), 77-62, at Evansville, Ind., to win the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship.
The top-ranked Moccasins (36-1) led, 37-28, after one half and never were threatened. They finished the season on a school-record 25-game winning streak.