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Whitman County judge lifts WSU football player's suspension

Whitman County judge lifts WSU football player's suspension

WHITMAN COUNTY, Wash. - A judge in Whitman County has agreed to lift the suspension of Washington State University senior football player Robert Barber.

Whitman County Superior Judge David Frazier ruled in favor of Barber Wednesday, granting a conditional stay on his suspension. Barber can't drink alcohol, smoke marijuana or be around the plaintiff.

"Certainly, Mr. Barber's going to follow that 100 percent. Everyone knows who he is and he's going to walk the straight and narrow and just focus on getting those good grades and making his team proud," Stephen Graham, Barber's attorney, said.

During the hearing, WSU representative Danielle Hess told the judge, "Mr. Barber's actions warrant removal from the Washington State community."

Barber, a senior from American Samoa, was suspended by WSU's Student Conduct Board because of his role in a fight at a house party this summer. Despite not being charged with a crime, WSU's conduct board first expelled Barber. He appealed the expulsion, which was changed to a suspension and began immediately.

With the conditional stay on suspension, Barber will be able to return to practice and classes immediately.  

WSU President Kirk Schulz commented on the decision Wednesday saying, in part, "We respect today's decision by the Whitman County Superior Court and immediately will reinstate Robert Barber as a student at Washington State University in good academic standing. We look forward to a final decision by the court early next year. With his reinstatement as a student, the athletic department will determine Mr. Barber's status as an active member of the Cougar football team." 

Schulz said that in the meantime, the school will continue moving forward with the external review of its student conduct process. A law firm with experience in education law is examining the university's current process, focusing on public concerns raised about alleged racial and ethnic bias in decisions made by the board. 

To read Schulz's full statement, click here