Restaurant fight may have led to BYU players’ dismissal
BYU football • Sampson, Stout have withdrawn from school.
Published: November 9, 2012 02:47PM
Updated: November 9, 2012 11:56PM
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Joe Sampson

Provo • The Provo Police Department confirmed Friday it is investigating reports of an alleged assault and altercation at a 24-hour Provo restaurant at 3 a.m. on Nov. 1 that involved BYU football players.

Although a news release the department issued does not list specific names, BYU announced Thursday night that senior safety Joe Sampson and sophomore linebacker Zac Stout had been suspended from the team for the remainder of the season for violating team rules. Both players have withdrawn from school.

According to the release posted on the Provo Police Department’s Facebook page, officers responded to a report of an “alleged assault” at Rancherito’s restaurant, 1314 N. State St., on Halloween night, but many of the involved parties had already left the scene.

“There are several parties involved on both sides of the altercation, and [several] witnesses,” the statement read. “The Provo Police Department is currently attempting to identify and interview everyone involved in the incident in order to put together a complete investigation and determine the appropriate course of action. There are allegations that some members of the Brigham Young University football team are involved in the incident.”

Provo police Sgt. Brandon Post told The Salt Lake Tribune that nothing has been finalized yet, but if charges are filed, they will “probably only be misdemeanor charges.”

He declined to specify the exact number of BYU football players involved, or whether more players were involved in addition to the pair dismissed by football coach Bronco Mendenhall. He would not say whether the players were fighting with each other or a third party.

BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said Friday that the school’s Honor Code Office had initiated reviews of both Sampson and Stout recently, but that the reviews were not completed because the players withdrew from school.

Asked about the status of two other players who were reportedly at the scene of the altercation along with Sampson and Stout that night, Jenkins said both were in good standing with the Honor Code Office and would remain on the team.