Barnett was sports editor of the Muncie Star for over 50 years. He covered every state basketball championship during those years. He also covered every Indiana-Purdue football game since 1934 and every Indianapolis 500 since 1933. He was honored frequently by Indiana Sportswriters groups and was President of the Indiana Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association. He was also a member of the Football Hall of Fame and was very active in harness racing and boxing.

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