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Texas A&M dismisses defensive starters Darian Claiborne and Isaiah Golden

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COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 26: Darian Claiborne #48 of the Texas A&M Aggies lays a hard hit on Patton Robinette #4 of the Vanderbilt Commodores at Kyle Field on October 26, 2013 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Texas A&M's plan to improve on its 95th-ranked scoring defense from a year ago just got a little tougher.

Linebacker Darian Claiborne and defensive tackle Isaiah Golden were dismissed from the team, Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin announced on Tuesday. Both were starters as true freshmen last season and both were expected to be key contributors in 2014.

"These two individuals have failed to meet the high expectations and standards that we have for our football players and as representatives of this university,” A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said in a statement. “These two players have exhibited a pattern of behavior that we will not tolerate at Texas A&M."

On Feb. 23, Golden and Claiborne were arrested after being found in a vehicle that was illegally parked in a handicap spot. Golden was charged with possession of fewer than two ounces of marijuana and Claiborne was arrested for a noise violation. Claiborne had been arrested last December for possession of a dangerous drug and possession of less than two ounces of marijuana and was held out of the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Duke.

Both players were suspended indefinitely in February, missed spring football and Golden ultimately withdrew from school. However, in March, Sumlin had hopes Golden would return in the summer.

"He played about every snap last year," Sumlin said. "Certainly everybody would want him here at practice, but I think what's more important is that he just gets himself together and get back in the right frame of mind and be ready to go summer school-wise."

But things must have turned sour in the past couple months, which led to the dismissal. Texas A&M did not elaborate on the cause.

Claiborne had 89 tackles, 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 2013. He was named to the Freshman All-SEC team. Golden played in 11 games last season and started six. He had 32 tackles and three tackles for loss.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter

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