UPDATE 7 p.m. ET
Washington State players Robert Barber and T.J. Fehoko have been arrested and charged with second-degree assault. The charges against the two were announced during a joint news conference Friday afternoon with the Pullman Police Department and Washington State University.
The charges stem from a fight that happened at a party over the summer where one WSU student was found unconscious by police and another was found bleeding from the mouth. Police said they interviewed 61 potential witnesses in the case. Both players were booked and released.
Washington State defensive lineman Robert Barber has been kicked out of school after a WSU investigation into a fight he was allegedly involved in over the summer.
Athletic director Bill Moos told the Spokesman-Review that Barber is appealing the student conduct punishment and will continue to practice with the team while he appeals.
Barber, who has not been charged with a crime, was allegedly involved in an altercation that happened at a party in July. A student at Washington State suffered broken facial bones in the fight while another was knocked unconscious.
Earlier this week, Washington State linebacker Logan Tago was arrested on second degree assault and robbery charges while police have recommended safety Shalom Luani face charges for allegedly punching a student outside a Domino’s in August. Luani started the season with a one-game suspension and had two interceptions vs. Boise State.
Moos told the paper that the decision to let Barber continue with the team has been up to coach Mike Leach.
“That has to be within (coach Mike Leach’s) shop. I think he was fed up with the crap on the Shalom deal, because it was the second one,” Moos said, referring to the arrest of safety Shalom Luani, who was suspended against Eastern Washington but has not been charged with a felony.
“Everybody had to run and do up-downs and all the things, so you think the point had been made,” Moos said. “(Leach) even said, ‘If I had to do it over again I would not have suspended Shalom.’ I let my coaches make those decisions. When it gets to a felony charge, it’s on my desk.”
Yes, it’s safe to say Leach is fed up. After going on a rant Tuesday about his team’s poor play, he blamed the media and police about the arrests of Washington State players.
“No one has been found guilty,” Leach said in his Wednesday statement. “Some have not been arrested. None are charged. Comments to the media have distorted the facts and already condemned football players in the court of public opinion.
“Many of the statements are incomplete or totally false. I’m going to do what I should have done in the first place, which is presume them innocent until proven guilty.”
Leach then recapped the accusations against his players. From the Spokesman-Review, where you can read his remarks in their entirety.
Unless we are supposed to believe that these football players fought themselves, then there are numerous other guilty parties. That is clearly the case. If any of these allegations are true, I have not read anyone else’s name in the newspaper. “Unidentified males.” Nor any elaboration on their role in these events. Clearly, if these things happened, their role was extensive.
If the other guilty parties are not accused or charged, their needs to be an extensive investigation as to why. How in the world can only football parties be guilty in events depicted like this? It is irresponsible to this town, this community and everybody to have some kind of a double standard where we only focus on one demographic, one group of people and then drag their name through the newspaper with a bunch of irresponsible comments.
Barber is a key piece of Washington State’s defense. The senior nose tackle from American Samoa played in 12 games last season and was set to be a mainstay on Washington State’s defensive line.
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