Referee Ron Cherry is not visible in the above screenshot because he was given the business by an errant USC defender on Saturday.
Cherry was officiating USC vs. Notre Dame when USC linebacker Michael Hutchings slammed into him near the sideline after a play during the third quarter at Los Angeles Coliseum.
Hutchings appears to be tripped up by a fellow Trojan trying to make a tackle against the Irish. In trying to regain his balance, the 6-‘1, 215-pound linebacker slammed into Cherry as he was ruling the ballcarrier down. Cherry saw Hutchings at the last minute and tried to get out of the way, but he took a face full of helmet and went down hard.
Cherry’s hat went flying and he stayed down for a while. He was looked at by trainers and taken to the locker room for further examination. Hopefully he’s OK. It was a strange play and Hutchings appeared to stumble a long way in colliding with Cherry, but it’s hard to imagine this was an intentional act.
Cherry has a way of making his presence known when he’s working a game. Unlike his “giving him the business” call from back in the day, this one wasn’t quite as funny.