Brigham Young Cougars suspend two defensive players

Brigham Young Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced that senior free safety Joe Sampson and sophomore linebacker Zac Stout were suspended from the football team for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Additionally, both Sampson and Stout have withdrawn from school. Sampson's career is finished, and Stout will not be back for the rest of the 2012 season--maybe longer. The announcement came as a shock as BYU prepares for Senior Day against Idaho this Saturday.

Sampson was a junior college transfer who arrived at BYU in 2011. He quickly became a fan favorite making big plays and displaying a high football IQ. Playing mostly in reserve and nickel back situations, Sampson made 23 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, 2 quarterback hurries, 3 pass breakups, and 1 fumble recovery that he returned 26 yards for a touchdown in 2011. This year as the team's starting free safety, Sampson made 33 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hurry, and 2 pass breakups through nine games. For his career, Sampson made 56 tackles.

Stout came to BYU in 2010 after being rated one of the nation's top 10 middle linebackers. As a true freshman, Stout saw significant playing time and finished with 21 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. An Achilles injury caused him to redshirt the 2011 season, and it has continued to hamper Stout for much of the 2012 season. He has just one tackle this year. Assuming his health cooperated, Stout was expected to compete for a starting linebacker position next year.

This is the first public notice of discipline for Stout. Sampson, however, was held out of three days early in fall camp for breaking team rules. At the time, BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL expressed concern that Sampson could face more serious discipline down the road if another situation arose.
The thought that one more slip up during the season could result in a full week punishment (“progressive discipline”) and a game is very concerning. Hopefully, four months from now, Hoffman and Sampson’s absences are a distant memory that we give no thought to. (BYU Fall Camp: Week 1 Recap, August 6, 2012)
This news is tragic. BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL appreciates the effort and sacrifice made by Sampson and Stout, as well as all players, during their time on the BYU football team. May Sampson and Stout find success wherever they go and whatever they do in the future.

Click here to read more BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL coverage of Joe Sampson.
Click here to read more BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL coverage of Zac Stout.

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