SPOKANE, Wash. --- Washington State University’s Robert Barber will not be going to the Carolina Panthers.
The team initially listed him as an undrafted free agent but then in a roster released this week, he was not on the list.
The Charlotte Observer reports Barber had accepted an offer Saturday night, but it was taken back Sunday morning when the Panthers found the football player faces second degree assault charges.
Barber, a former Washington State University football player, made headlines after allegations that he had assaulted Jackson Raney at a party in July 2016.
Barber was initially expelled, then had his punishment reduced to a suspension.
The circumstances surrounding the process in which Barber was punished by the Student Conduct Board was highly criticized by former WSU alums, and other supporters of the team and Barber.
Students even started using the hashtag #FreeBarber, wearing his number, 92, and signed a petition in support.
"Robert, one way or the other will always be a member of this team," Mike Leach, WSU’s head football coach, said in October. "He's meant a lot to this program. [His teammates] have a great deal of respect for Robert and we all feel like Robert should be here with us."
State senator Michael Baumgartner also came to Barber’s defense and even stormed out during the public hearing in November. He had previously called WSU’s student conduct board “broken” and rallied against the university’s decision to suspend Barber before charges were filed.
WSU had a task force review their student conduct process. The task force found “no evidence of ethnic or racial discrimination against students involved in disciplinary cases.”
Barber’s trial date is set for May 15 of this year.
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