Cougar moms, players and friends gave public testimony
about Robert Barber during Washington State University's
board of regents meeting on Friday.
The room was packed Friday morning as testimony after
testimony was shared about senior football player
Barber was expelled by the university's conduct board
after his involvement in a fight that left one student
with a concussion. After appealing that decision,
Barber is now suspended from the university, both
the classroom and the football field.
The statements of support for the 5th year senior
followed by criticism of the university's conduct
Why are we even doing this, why has it come to this
at an institute of higher learning, said Gabe Marks,
Barber's close friend and teammate, I still see people
on this campus that have done way worse things than
what my friend is being expelled from a university
Many feel Barber was treated unfairly, saying he was
racially profiled and not given proper procedure during
his hearing with the board of conduct.
The heated meeting reaching a boiling point as WSU
alumni, Senator Michael Baumgartner, stormed out in
frustration, If you don't fix this! I will!
But not before he asked the school to lift all expulsions
and suspensions from this semester.
So the way to solve this is simply to recognize there
is a problem with the process, lift all the non title
nine expulsions, and a bunch of kids go back to class
and you save a bunch
of tax payer dollars, said Baumgartner.
Many at the meeting say WSU's board of conduct is
Washington State is in the business of educating
and graduating students. It's not in the business
of running a parallel criminal justice system through
the student conduct board,said Jill Osur-Meyers,
founder of CougFam.
Barber's attorney filed a motion with a judge to put
a stay on the suspension to allow him to return to
school while the matter is reviewed.
WSU announced Friday there will be a 60 day review
of the board of conduct's processes.
The meeting ended with no certainty on what will happen
to Barber or his future.
I would lose sleep over this, about making this decision
about somebody's life, about a kid's life, said Marks.
Those who spoke today in defense of Barber had hoped
the talented player would be reinstated in time for
tomorrow's game, but the regents would not say when
they would reconvene to make a decision.