WSU football: Robert Barber's expusion reduced to suspension, sources tell CF.C, but the appeals process is not over

THREE INDEPENDENT SOURCES with direct knowledge of the situation tell that Robert Barber, following the Cougar nose tackle’s appeal, will not be expelled from Washington State but instead is suspended. But Barber is appealing that ruling. The news that WSU’s appeals board changed the ruling from expulsion to suspension was first reported by the Seattle Times.

In effect, the ruling means Barber would be suspended immediately, but allowed to finish his degree at Washington State, which he is tantalizingly close to completing.

But Barber will appeal the ruling. 

One of CF.C’s sources opined if Barber is indeed suspended at the end of the day, that suspension would probably take place next semester.

Barber has not been charged for his alleged role in a fight that broke out at party this summer.  A month ago, Pullman Police recommended charges of second degree assault to the Whitman County prosecutor’s office against Barber and DL T.J. Fehoko. But neither man has been charged by the prosecutor. 

WSU policy is that once a player is charged with a felony by the prosecutor, that player is sidelined and won't participate in games.  Failing that, and provided the coaching staff also is in agreement, the player in question would be available. 

Barber is expected to line up on Saturday at ASU. With a number of off field incidents taking place this offseason, Mike Leach has made it clear since mid-September that his new normal is to believe players are innocent until proven guilty.

If Barber were to be lost this season to injury or for other reasons, the primary backup at the nose is Ngalu Tapa. Tapa, a 6-3, 319-pound third-year sophomore, has played in all six games this season and has seen more turns than your average backup DT. Indeed, the Cougar d-line has rotated heavily across the board plus there has been an unusually large amount of shifting  -- with ends and tackles lining up at the nose at times.

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