The University Appeals Board has reduced WSU defensive lineman Robert Barber's sanction from an expulsion to a suspension. But the defensive tackle is planning to appeal that decision as well.
Washington State defensive tackle Robert Barber’s expulsion has been changed to a suspension, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to the Seattle Times Tuesday.
The University Appeals Board informed Barber of its decision and the change in his sanction on Monday, sources said.
Under the Appeals Board’s new ruling, Barber’s suspension would run from now through July 2017.
However, sources have confirmed that Barber, a fifth-year senior, plans to appeal the ruling to request that the suspension begin in the spring semester, and has 10 days to do so by petitioning the chair of the appeals board.
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Because Barber has not been charged with any crime and is expected to appeal his suspension, he is allowed and expected to play in WSU’s game this weekend against Arizona State, sources said.
The University Conduct Board originally informed Barber of his expulsion on Sept. 13, ruling that based on a preponderance of evidence, Barber had violated the WSU student conduct code by allegedly assaulting and concussing another student at an off campus party that occurred on August 23. Barber appealed that decision in writing on Oct. 3.
Pullman Police recently concluded their investigation into the party assault case from August 23 that left one WSU student with a broken jaw and another with a concussion. On Sept. 16, Pullman Police recommended charges of second degree assault against Barber, and backup defensive lineman Toso “T.J.” Fehoko, but neither man has been charged with a crime.
The Whitman County Prosecutor’s office acknowledged in an email on Tuesday morning that it has received the investigation file from the police department.
The case has been assigned to Chief Deputy Prosecutor Dan LeBeau, but the prosecutor’s office does not have any estimate on when LeBeau will conclude his review and make a charging decision.
Barber, a 6-foot-3, 305-pound nose tackle from Tula, American Samoa, has started every game for WSU this season, and is second on the defense with two sacks.
If Barber’s suspension is upheld, he will become the second defensive starter the Cougars have lost to disciplinary suspension this season.
Sophomore rush linebacker Logan Tago was charged with felony robbery last week, and per athletic department rules, has been suspended from athletic competition until the conclusion of his legal case.
Tago is scheduled to appear in court on Friday, Nov. 4. Tago started two games for WSU this year, and played in all five before being forced to sit out WSU’s win over UCLA last week due to his suspension.