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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Zac Stout (#10) and Bryan Engstrom practice with the BYU football team at BYU in Provo on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012.

PROVO — BYU senior safety Joe Sampson and backup linebacker Zac Stout were suspended for a violation of team rules, coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Thursday night. Both players have withdrawn from school and will not return this season.

Sampson started eight games this season, recording 33 tackles. He had 56 tackles in his two-year Cougar career. Stout played in one game at inside linebacker this season and made one tackle. In 2010 as a freshman, he had 21 tackles in 10 games in 2010, then missed the 2011 season due to injury.

Sophomore Craig Bills is expected to start in place of Sampson when the Cougars face Idaho on Saturday.