Bernard Schirmer, an offensive lineman who was arrested and thrown out of school for hitting a referee during a game in 2016, has just become a member of the University of Southern California’s football team.
According to USA Today, head coach Clay Helton announced Schirmer’s signing Tuesday night, saying he would be joining the team shortly as a redshirt sophomore. Helton reportedly said the USC coaching staff arrived at the decision to sign Schirmer after extensive interviews with his family and Mount San Antonio College officials, where his football career abruptly ended after he knocked an official out cold with one punch.
“We learned from the administrators, counselors and coaches that we were dealing with a tremendous young man,” Helton said. “A man that is a great student and a great person, and a guy that we had no question would be a great member of our Trojan family.”
Schirmer was a 19-year-old freshman when he says he accidentally hit an official who was trying to break up a scrum he was involved in after the whistle. The 6-5, 270 pound Long Beach native was arrested for the incident but never charged. He was, however, kicked out of school and suspended for five years by the Southern California Football Association, a governing body for California community college football.
“We listed the expectations that we expect from Bernard, and we understand that he knows those expectations and will do a great job here as a Trojan,” Helton said.