Washington State football coach Mike Leach has dismissed cornerback Daquawn Brown, his team’s leading tackler and most experienced defensive back, according to an internet report. The team does not publicly address player dismissals and Leach could not immediately be reached for comment. The report, from fan site Cougfan.com, says that Brown was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules prior to the start of winter break. Brown’s play this past season was a pocket of consistency in an otherwise tumultuous defensive backfield and he was likely to be WSU’s only upperclassmen starter in the secondary next season. The news of Brown’s dismissal comes on the heels of cornerback Kevin Griffin’s decision to leave the program, meaning that it will be incumbent upon sophomores Charleston White, Marcellus Pippins and Pat Porter to turn around a pass defense that ranked No. 11 in the Pac-12 this past season. WSU is also still in the process of hiring a new defensive coordinator and, possibly, a secondary coach. Brown led the Cougars with 82 tackles and broke up 11 passes during an All-Pac-12 honorable mention season. He started every game except one, against Arizona State, in which he was required to sit out a half after being ejected because of a targeting penalty in WSU’s previous game against Oregon State.That penalty appeared questionable on video review but Brown was flagged a number of times throughout the season, sometimes exasperating his coaches. The reason for his alleged dismissal is unknown, but Brown did struggle to stay out of trouble at WSU. He was arrested last March and booked into the Whitman County Jail on charges of second-degree assault and misdemeanor assault. He pleaded guilty to those charges, receiving a $700 fine and a six-month suspended jail sentence. He was also arrested last spring for operating a motor vehicle without a valid license.