Former WSU football player faces new setbacks

Former WSU football player faces new setback

SPOKANE, Wash. --- Former Washington State University football standout Robert Barber was given an offer to play in the NFL, only to have that offer taken back.

The Carolina Panthers initially gave Barber an offer on Saturday, but two days later the team abruptly rescinded that opportunity after learning that Barber is about to go to trial.

Barber is accused of knocking a student unconscious at a house party last summer. Months later Barber is still facing consequences from the brawl.

"We're just more determined than ever to get this behind him, to beat these charges, and allow him to move forward," Barber’s attorney Steve Graham said.

The Carolina Panthers told Graham that Barber’s future prospects in Charlotte depend solely on the outcome of his trial.

Given the publicity of Barber’s assault case, some have wondered how the Carolina Panthers was not aware of Barber’s charges in the first place.

"I'm guessing it's confusing to them because we beat WSU for the same charges... and it was announced in the headlines that Barber won and that he was vindicated.  This rehashing in the criminal court is something I think is confusing for people to follow," Graham said.

The case has had many turns.

Following the brawl, Barber was suspended form WSU for several months, even though at that time he was not charged with assault.

The school eventually allowed Barber to return.

Then in March, eight months after the fight, prosecutors did charge Barber.

"The timing was terrible with the draft coming up. We tried to fast track the trial and get it done, but it still isn't soon enough," Graham said.

For now, Barber is not only waiting to go to trail, but also waiting to see if he even has a career in pro-football.

"I think he's gonna move forward.  He's been training, eating right... keeping a good attitude.  I'm seeing he's gonna find a place before too long," Graham said.

Barber’s trail starts May 15 in Whitman County.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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