The first tangible fallout from a July brawl purportedly involving Washington State football players has dropped.
The Spokane Spokesman-Review is reporting that Robert Barber “has been expelled from the school following a University Conduct Board investigation into a fight over the summer that left one student unconscious and another hospitalized with a fractured jaw.” The Seattle Times, citing a source close to the situation, subsequently confirmed the initial report.
The senior starting nose tackle is currently appealing the decision, and will be permitted to continue practicing with the team. He won’t, however, be allowed to play in games until a decision on the appeal is rendered.
No charges have been filed against any of the six players allegedly involved.
Barber had started the first two games this season for the Cougars. He has started 15 games in his career.
The Barber incident was one of three involving Wazzu football players in the last three months. Safety Shalom Luani was arrested in late August for second-degree assault, while linebacker Logan Tago was arrested earlier this week for second-degree assault and second-degree robbery in connection to a June incident.
Mike Leach Tuesday very vociferously and publicly laid the blame for the spate of incidents involving his players at the feet of the Pullman Police Department and the media, claiming his players have been unfairly targeted by both entities. The head coach’s outburst led to a meeting Thursday between the PPD’s chief of police and Wazzu’s president and athletic director, the latter of whom addressed the get-together in a statement.
“The meeting was a chance for all three of us to come together face-to-face and discuss these recent incidents,” Bill Moos said. “It was an opportunity to express thoughts, on all sides, and gain a better understanding of processes and procedures in incidents like we have seen recently,”
“We certainly respect the task facing law enforcement and throughout my tenure as athletic director, have made every effort to fully cooperate with local authorities. I am encouraged as we move forward that we will continue to have an open line of communication and allow the full legal process to play out to ensure fairness is given to all involved.”