PULLMAN – Washington State University Police identified Liam Jimmons as the USC player who was responsible for knocking a Washington State fan to the turf following Friday’s game between the Cougars and the Trojans at Martin Stadium.
Jimmons, a redshirt freshman defensive lineman, is being investigated for potential assault, WSU Police Assistant Chief Steve Hansen told The Spokesman-Review Tuesday afternoon.
During Tuesday’s Pac-12 teleconference, USC coach Clay Helton said he was aware of the incident and that he’d disciplined his player internally. Jimmons played in the 30-27 WSU upset, but only as a reserve.
“We’re aware of the situation and discipline has been taken and discipline will remain in-house,” Helton said on the teleconference.
WSU Police will assess the extent of the injuries sustained before determining the nature of potential assault charges, and the actual charges wouldn’t be pressed until next week – not until Hansen’s department is able to share information with a prosecuting attorney.
“We are looking into it,” Hansen said. “We’re still gathering information, talking to witnesses, reaching out to USC to see if we can interview or they’ll interview the player for us. They’ll send it over to the PA’s office and see what they think. Earliest is going to be next week that we get this all combined.”
Hansen said WSU Police has made contact with the victim and is “trying to gather some medical information to document the injuries.”
A video posted by Cougfan.com captured the scene of thousands of fans pouring onto the field just moments after Luke Falk took a knee in the victory formation to seal the win. In the video, Jimmons violently shoves the fan to the turf as the Trojans are exiting Martin Stadium. The fan falls to the ground before getting to his feet, while Jimmons continues to jog off the field.
Another video, posted by Facebook user Cody Moran, shows the incident from a different vantage point.
Emotions understandably ran high after the game at Martin Stadium. Washington State hadn’t upset a top-five team since the 2003 Holiday Bowl, and not in the regular season since the 1992 Apple Cup. The Trojans hadn’t lost a game in more than a calendar year and hadn’t lost in Pullman since 2002.
WSU incurred a $25,000 fine from the Pac-12 Conference because its fans rushed the field, but Helton says the reaction was understandable given the high stakes attached to a game pitting two Top 25 teams against one another.
“It was an electric game and a very exciting atmosphere and the safety of fans and players always needs to be taken into account,” he said. “It’s a very hard situation in that type of environment, that exciting environment. It’s something that I know Washington State does their best job to try to create a safe environment and it’s hard. When you have that many fans that excited, they found their way down onto the field and it makes for a chaotic scene.”
Fans also stormed the field after WSU’s 33-30 triple-overtime win over Boise State during the second week of the season, but the school wasn’t fined because it was deemed the Broncos had sufficient time to leave the playing field.