VENTURA, Calif. — The Latest on a Southern California football player arrested for punching referee (all times local):

6 p.m.

A Southern California college football player who knocked out a referee during a game says he thinks his five-year suspension is harsh for an accident but he takes full responsibility for his actions.

Mount San Antonio College freshman Bernard Schirmer was suspended Monday for clocking the referee during a Saturday night game.

Schirmer tells The Associated Press that he was having words with another player who’d pushed him and decided to punch himself in the helmet as a way of refocusing — without realizing the referee was holding him.

His school says video shows the 19-year-old accidentally hit the ref with his forearm. Schirmer says he’s truly sorry.

The college says it will appeal what could be a career-ending suspension. However, police arrested the player on suspicion of battery and there’s still a chance he could face criminal charges.

Meanwhile, a conference spokesman says the referee has indicated he’s fine, just a little sore.

4:25 p.m.

A Southern California college football player who knocked out a referee during a game has been suspended for five years.

A spokesman for Mount San Antonio College says the school was notified Monday that its sports conference commissioner has suspended Bernard Schirmer for punching the ref during last Saturday’s game.

However, Brian Yokoyama says the school will appeal the suspension.

Yokoyama says the college examined enlarged, frame-by-frame video of the incident and concluded that Schirmer’s arm accidentally struck the official.

Schirmer has apologized for the hit and said it wasn’t intentional.

Rich Kollen of the Southern California Football Association says he spoke to the referee on Sunday and was told the man is fine but a little sore. He hasn’t seen a physician.


3:20 p.m.

A Southern California referee who was knocked unconscious during a college football game is said to be doing fine.

Rich Kollen of the Southern California Football Association says he spoke to the ref Sunday and was told the man was a little sore but has no headache or other problems.

Kollen says the ref was checked for concussion and cleared by trainers for both teams but hasn’t seen a physician.

Kollen says the ref — whose name hasn’t been released — is scheduled to officiate another game Saturday.

Video shows the referee trying to break up a fight during a game Saturday night, and then going down. Mount San Antonio College freshman Vernard Schirmer was arrested on suspicion of battery and has apologized.

The school has concluded the hit was unintentional.


7:47 a.m.

A California junior college football player who was arrested after he appeared to punch a referee during a game has apologized, saying it was an accident.

Video shows the referee falling to the ground as he tried to break up a fight on the field. Police say he was knocked unconscious.

Mount San Antonio College freshman Bernard Schirmer was ejected from the game Saturday and later arrested on suspicion of battery. He posted bail Sunday.

Schirmer tells the Ventura County Star newspaper (http://bit.ly/2cQZh4e) that he often tries to calm down by hitting himself on the helmet and he didn’t realize the line judge was so close. Schirmer says he’s “truly sorry.”

College officials say they reviewed video footage and talked to witnesses, concluding that Schirmer “unintentionally hit the referee.”

Prosecutors will decide whether to charge Schirmer.