A&M dismisses 2 defensive starters

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin announced Tuesday that starting linebacker Darian Claiborne and starting defensive tackle Isaiah Golden have been dismissed from the football team.

Claiborne and Golden, who both were expected to play key roles as sophomores this fall on the A&M defense after starting as true freshmen in 2013, were arrested and charged with aggravated robbery Tuesday, according to the College Station Police Department.

According to police, the pair are accused of robbing three male victims at gunpoint on May 23 after the three men agreed to purchase marijuana from Claiborne and Golden.

A news release from CSPD said that Claiborne and Golden "arrived at the apartment to complete the transaction, one of the suspects produced a handgun, pointed it at one of the victims while the other suspect took the money that was present to purchase the marijuana. While this was occurring, one of the victims stood up from the couch and was struck in the face by the suspect with the handgun. The suspects then fled the area on foot and the victims notified police."

Both had been arrested for separate incidents in the last seven months -- Golden once, in February, and Claiborne twice, in December and February.

"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," Sumlin said in a statement. "These two players have exhibited a pattern of behavior that we will not tolerate at Texas A&M."

Claiborne, 19, was arrested twice this offseason. The first came in December on charges of possession of fewer than two ounces and possession of a dangerous drug, which led to his suspension from the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. He was arrested again in February and charged with a noise violation while in a car with Golden, who also was arrested at that time on a marijuana possession charge.

After the February incident, both Claiborne and Golden were suspended for the entirety of Texas A&M's spring practice in March and April.

Golden, 20, withdrew from school in March. Sumlin said shortly thereafter that Golden was expected back in the summer and did not elaborate further on the situation.

Golden appeared in 11 games and started six for the Aggies last season. Claiborne, an All-SEC freshman team selection in 2013, started nine games and appeared in 12 contests.

Claiborne appeared in 12 games, finished with 89 tackles and also was an All-SEC freshman team selection last season. He started nine games.