John Barnes

Walk into Associate Professor John Barnes’ office in the basement of Johnson Gym and you can’t help but feel Lobo pride. The walls and shelves hold memorabilia from his nearly two decades of learning and teaching at The University of New Mexico. Now, his recently released book is bringing more positive publicity to the school he’s already so proud to represent.

Released in March 2020, his UNM Press publication ‘Same Players, Different Game: An Examination of the Commercial College Athletics Industry’ is on the finalist list for the 2020 INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

“Dr. Barnes has real insight into the world of college athletics and is a talented writer,” said Todd Seidler, professor and program coordinator of UNM HESS Sports Administration. “He is also an outstanding mentor to students and a great example to his faculty colleagues.  The Sport Administration program is very proud of John and his accomplishments.”

Barnes’ book is among the finalists for the Adventure, Sports & Recreation (Adult Nonfiction) category. The finalists list from Foreword Reviews is part of its mission to discover, review and share the best books from university and independent publishers. More than 2,000 entries from 55 genres were submitted for consideration.

The finalists were determined by Foreword’s editorial team. Winners are now being decided by teams of librarian and bookseller judges from across the country. Winners in each genre—along with Editor’s Choice Prize winners and Foreword’s Independent Publisher of the Year—will be announced June 17, 2021.

John Barnes Cover

“The pandemic did not slow down the quality of great books coming from the independent publishing community in 2020. The Finalist selection process this year was one of the hardest our team encountered due to the vast number of excellent submissions,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher.

“We’re as confident as ever that these Finalists reflect the best of the books that we’ve had the privilege of seeing,” added Managing Editor Michelle Anne Schingler.

Since 1998, Foreword Reviews has provided trade book reviews of the best titles from independent presses. Its FOLIO award-winning design and editorial content makes the magazine a favorite among librarians, booksellers and readers.

Barnes’ ‘Same Players, Different Game’ was also a finalist for the 2020 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award and was rated “highly recommended” by the Association of College and Research Libraries. It can be ordered online through UNM Press.