Provo • Although he moved quickly in suspending the BYU football players involved in a Halloween night altercation at a 24-hour restaurant, coach Bronco Mendenhall said Monday night he has not seen the shocking videos of safety Joe Sampson and linebacker Zac Stout fighting with other restaurant patrons, which have gone viral since being posted on YouTube.
“No, I don’t intend to watch it, either,” Mendenhall said after the Cougars practiced in preparation for Saturday’s showdown at 8-2 San Jose State. “Eventually, players will tell me the truth. It takes awhile, sometimes.”
Sampson, a senior, and Stout, a sophomore, withdrew from school last week and their BYU careers are essentially over. Provo police Sgt. Brandon Post said the department is investigating the incident and interviewing witnesses and other parties involved.
As of Monday, no charges had been filed.
Sophomore cornerback Jordan Johnson is shown in the Rancherito’s surveillance videos as well, but was not fighting. He appeared to be trying to stop the fighting. Johnson was suspended from last Saturday’s 52-13 win over Idaho but has completed some community service work assigned by Mendenhall and the coach said he is expected to play this week.
“Others had seen [the videos], and basically gave me an account of what happened,” Mendenhall said. “But I am not interested in watching it. I have a really good idea of what happened, and am anxious now to help the young men grow and progress, but also for them to have restitution for what they have done, and learn from it.
“And for those that were involved on the other side, I hope that they are not badly hurt. I hope that they are OK and they can go on with their lives as well.”
Friday, Post declined to reveal if anybody was seriously injured.
When it was suggested that kicking players off the team might be considered a harsh punishment and asked if there was any other misbehavior associated with the suspensions, Mendenhall said he preferred not to say.
“Other than I am at peace with the complete way it was handled,” he said. “I care about my players, and I will support them now that I am not their coach, currently.”
NMSU game online
The Cougars’ Nov. 24 game at New Mexico State will be shown live on ESPN3 and the kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. MST, ESPN and the Western Athletic Conference announced Monday.
ESPN3 is available via the internet at WatchESPN.com. It was originally announced that the game would be picked up by the Altitude network.
Bowl tickets on sale
BYU will play a team from the Mountain West Conference, most likely San Diego State, on Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. MST in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. ESPN will broadcast the game.
Tickets for the game are on sale now and can be purchased online at BYUtickets.com or by calling 1-800-322-2981.
Mendenhall said backup linebackers Uani Unga and Manoa Pikula did not practice due to injury but did not reveal the injuries. He said he hopes both will be ready to play Saturday.
He said offensive lineman Brock Stringham (tonsillitis) practiced, while center Braden Hansen (groin tear) did not. Both are possible for Saturday.
Receiver Cody Hoffman is the FBS Independent offensive player of the week and kicker Justin Sorensen is the FBS Independent special teams player of the week. Hoffman caught nine passes for 108 yards and three touchdowns. Sorensen made all seven of is PAT attempts to extend his streak to 68 straight PATs without a miss, a school record. The old mark was 67 straight and had stood since 2004.
BYU at San Jose State
P Saturday, 8:30 p.m. MST, TV • ESPN2