Barton To Play In Holiday Bowl

Midway through practice today, Taylor Barton learned that the charges were dismissed against him and fellow Huskies Doug Clarke and Marty Dorcich. He immediately resumed his duties as the second-team quarterback, taking over for Adam Seery, who had been working as the backup with Barton's availability in doubt due to the legal situation.

Mike Hunsinger, the attorney for the three players, spoke after practice today about how the developments went down.

"This afternoon I got a phone call from the city attorney's office," said Hunsinger, "and notified me that they had decided not to pursue the charges against Taylor Barton, Marty Dorcich and Doug Clarke."

Hunsinger explained that he obtained some statements from witnesses over the weekend to what took place, and sent them to both the city attorney's office as well as to the Seattle Pacific University security people.

"I asked them to take a look at that and maybe reconsider their decision," said Hunsinger, "and to their credit the city attorney's office looked into the matter, talked to the witnesses, and reached a conclusion that based upon the witnesses statements the charges should not have been brought and they should be dismissed."

"As far as I'm concerned, the case is over and they are going to go to the Holiday Bowl."

After practice, Barton explained his version of the story:

"It was a situation where I think everything just escaladed," he said. "Me and two friends went over to visit two friends of ours that were girls and one of the girl's mom was there. I was downloading a CD. I had had a few drinks before I went over there, but I'm 21 and I was just hanging out."

Barton made sure he spoke specifically about the issue of alcohol.

"Alcohol was mentioned in everyone's stories," he said. "But the fact of the matter is that I'm 21, I wasn't drinking over there, and I asked if I needed to take a breathalizer to prove that I wasn't intoxicated but I wasn't asked to do that. When people hear alcohol involved, they usually assume that there are people that are intoxicated, but I asked to take a breathalizer because I knew I wasn't. I know my limits, and I wasn't driving. We made sure we had a designated driver on the way over."

The junior quarterback then continued with what happened that night at Seattle Pacific University.

We were there 15 minutes past curfew (at 11:15 p.m.) and a resident adviser came and told us to leave," Barton said. "We were leaving, the girl's mom was walking out with us, and the campus security was waiting for us outside. He was there, asked for our ID's and asked who we were seeing, but I didn't want to get anybody in trouble that I was seeing so I just said, ‘we were here seeing somebody but I don't want to say who we were seeing."

"Where I made the mistake is when I made a few comments that I probably shouldn't have," admitted Barton. "No cussing was involved, but I was just speaking my mind. After about a half an hour, we were actually let go by a security guard and were walking away until a cop came up, pulled us back, and we were handcuffed."

"I'm happy. I figure that we had a good attorney and we had all the facts. I knew deep down that the charges would be dropped, I just didn't know if it'd be in time for us to go the bowl game. Things fell into place, and I learned my lesson from this."

Coach Neuheisel was glad to hear the news regarding the dismissed charges after practice, but still had reservations on the matter.

"I'm pleased that it's been determined that nothing illegal took place," he said, "but I'm still disappointed in the players that they put themselves in that situation in the first place. While I'm not going to suspend them, there's certainly still going to be some punishment. Kids have to understand that there are ways to keep themselves out of trouble. Suspension won't be a part of the deal, but the players will forfeit some of things they would have otherwised received in conjunction with the bowl." Top Stories