Those who had a Pac-12 program in the “which FBS team will give Bernard Schirmer his first post-punch chance” pool, collect your winnings.
In September of 2016, a video surfaced of Schirmer, then a freshman offensive lineman at Moun San Antonio College, being ejected from a game for punching a referee who was attempting to restrain him, knocking the official out cold. Schirmer was subsequently arrested for suspicion of battery and led away from the playing field in handcuffs.
Tuesday, Clay Helton confirmed that Schirmer has signed a financial aid agreement with USC and will join the Trojans football team shortly as a redshirt sophomore. The head coach stated that the football program was aware of the violent issue with the game official and deeply vetted the lineman before signing him.
“What we learned from the administrators, coaches and counselors is that we were dealing with a tremendous young man, a young man that is a tremendous student, great person and a guy that we had no question would be a great member of our Trojan family.” Helton said. “We listed the expectations that we expect for Bernard and we understand that he knows those expectations and he will do a great job here as a Trojan.
“We are very excited.”
At the time of the incident, Schirmer claimed it was an accident and apologized.
“My friends were trying to pull me back away from the defensive end,” Schirmer said. “I didn’t know the ref was right [beside] me, bear hugging me. …
“I didn’t mean any of that to happen. I’m truly sorry about what happened to the ref.”
While the now-6-6, 290-pound Schirmer was arrested, he never faced criminal charges. He was, however, banned for five years by the Southern California Football Association, the governing body for junior college football in that area of the state. The ban led to the lineman sitting out the 2017 season.