COMMENTARY: Moos on target reinstating Casto

DeANGELO CASTO will play tonight. Washington State athletic director Bill Moos announced moments ago that he was lifting the suspension on the junior post man now that he has learned the full extent of the Pullman Police Department's actions against Casto early yesterday morning. Moos' decision is not only the right one, but also a bold one.

"There has been a great deal of discussion regarding DeAngelo and his situation over the past 24 hours. In reviewing new information that has been brought to my attention, I am removing DeAngelo's suspension effective immediately and he will be available to participate in tonight's NIT Quarterfinal game," Moos said. "There are unique circumstances involving this matter and I feel the appropriate avenue to take is to allow the legal system to run its course before we consider further action."

There's not a lot of definitive commentary in that statement, though clearly Moos has been swayed by facts that are not yet public. What little is known at this point tells us the actions of Pullman Police were outrageous.


To recount, police were in the off-campus neighborhood where Casto lives in the early hours of Tuesday because of burglary reports in the area. Officers noticed that a screen had been removed from a window on Casto's home. They looked inside and saw Casto allegedly holding what looked to be a joint. They then knocked on his door, he answered, they said they smelled marijuana and made arrangements to cite him for misdemeanor possession.

There's no arguing that smoking pot isn't a good idea. And for Casto to be engaging, given the troubles teammates Klay Thompson and Reggie Moore have run into this season, makes it even more nonsensical.

But Moos' decision today is absolutely the right one. No, he's not condoning the consumption of marijuana. He's standing up for basic American rights. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. It requires a warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.

Casto was all by himself, in his home, just hours removed from the Cougars' win over Oklahoma State, and not bothering anybody.

Suddenly, the police are at his door and he's in trouble.

Were his rights read to him? Did have any idea he didn't have to let the police in his home?

The guess here is that the answer to both is no.

The cynical will charge that Moos is lifting the suspension solely to get the Cougars a win tonight against Northwestern and a subsequent trip to Madison Square Garden for the NIT final four. Moos will no doubt take heat from these folks.

We call BS. Moos has a track record of looking at all sides of an issue, be it discipline or facilities or marketing campaigns, before he stakes out a final position. He doesn't act in haste and he sure as heck doesn't skirt rules with a win-at-all-cost-mentality.

The Pullman Police were so out of line with Casto that the city and university ought to demand a full audit of the department's operations, procedures and training. This was an amateur hour incident that never should have happened. It's an embarrassment to the city that reinforces the broader, long-held perception of incompetence in the force.

An embarrassment.

No, Casto shouldn't be messing with weed. But first and foremost, he's protected by the Fourth Amendment. And Bill Moos did exactly the right thing today.


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