The BYU Cougars will go the rest of the season without senior starting free safety Joe Sampson and sophomore linebacker Zac Stout. The school announced Thursday that head coach Bronco Mendenhall had suspended both players for a violation of team rules. Sampson and Stout have withdrawn from school and will not return this season.
Do Sampson and Stout's withdrawals from school speak to a larger BYU Honor Code violation? It's unusual to be sure for players to leave school altogether for a violation of team rules, but it's tough to say if there was anything else that contributed to Sampson and Stout's decisions.
The Cougars will sorely miss Sampson, who started in eight of BYU's nine games this year. He had 33 tackles this season to bring his career total to 56. Stout appeared in just one game this year, recording one tackle. He had 21 tackles in 10 games as a true freshman in 2010 before missing the entire 2011 season with an injury. BYU faces the Idaho Vandals this Saturday at home.
Editor's Note: The above story has been posted via the SB Nation News Desk. Rumors say Joe Sampson was involved in a fight that eventually resulted in some sort of police presence.
The impact of Sampson's absence may largely depend on if Mike Hague is able to get healthy. This will have no impact against Idaho, but San Jose State is next on the slate, and the Spartans do nothing but throw the ball.