The legal saga involving now-former Washington State defensive end Robert Barber appears to be over. Tuesday, Barber was found not guilty on second and fourth-degree assault charges stemming from a July fight at a party.
Barber was expelled from school in September via the school’s disciplinary process but was allowed to continue to practice with the team, The expulsion turned into a suspension and a judge granted a stay of that suspension in November. That ruling, made because the judge deemed that Washington State had made record keeping errors, allowed Barber to return to the team.
Before the judge’s ruling, Barber’s teammates attended a regent meeting in opposition of the suspension the defensive tackle had received. The mothers of wide receiver River Cracraft and offensive lineman Noah Osur-Myers told regents that they believed their sons, who are white, would have been treated differently than Barber through the conduct process.
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While the student conduct process at Washington State began quickly, the criminal process did not. Barber wasn’t indicted on the assault charges until February.
Barber was arrested along with safety T.J. Fehoko after the allegations surfaced. The incident helped spark Washington State coach Mike Leach to claim in September there was a “double standard” regarding the law enforcement process and media coverage and football players.
Here’s what Leach had to say after Barber was found not guilty.
WSU football coach Mike Leach's comments on Robert Barber's not-guilty verdict in assault trial. pic.twitter.com/XRpJrLxj5i
— Stefanie Loh (@StefanieLoh) May 17, 2017
Barber was offered a contract with the Carolina Panthers following the 2017 NFL draft but it was rescinded after the team learned of his pending court date. It was an odd move for the Panthers, who should have known about Barber’s 2016 before they even offered him a contract. We’ll see if the Panthers or another team now give him a chance.
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