This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Provo • Starting free safety Joe Sampson, a senior, and backup linebacker Zac Stout, a sophomore, have been suspended from BYU's football team for a violation of team rules, coach Bronco Mendenhall announced on Thursday night.
Both players have withdrawn from school and will not return this season, according to a school release.
Sophomore Craig Bills is expected to start in Sampson's place on Saturday night when the Cougars host Idaho at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Stout has battled an Achilles tendon injury all season and has played in just one game, making one tackle.
Sampson made 33 tackles this season, giving him 56 tackles in his two seasons at BYU after he transferred from the College of San Mateo.
The news means Sampson will not be able to play near his hometown of Oakland, Calif., next week when BYU travels to San Jose State.
Stout was one of three players who committed to BYU at a highly publicized news conference at a Salt Lake City sports bar, along with quarterback Jake Heaps and receiver Ross Apo. Of those three players, only Apo remains on the team.