USC signs OL Bernard Schirmer, who punched juco ref in 2016

LOS ANGELES -- An offensive lineman who punched a referee during a junior college game in 2016 has joined Southern California's football team.

USC coach Clay Helton announced the signing of a financial aid agreement with Bernard Schirmer on Tuesday night.

Schirmer was a 19-year-old player at Mount San Antonio College when he knocked an official out cold with one punch. Schirmer repeatedly has said the punch was accidental.

Schirmer was arrested after the incident, but did not face criminal charges.

Helton says the Trojans extensively evaluated Schirmer and were left with "no question" that Schirmer will be "a great member of our Trojan family."

Schirmer will join the USC team soon, Helton says. He will be a redshirt sophomore.