VINEYARD — Two BYU football players are facing potential charges related to alcohol use after being pulled over by a Utah County sheriff's deputy early Saturday morning.
Francis Bernard, a BYU linebacker who is redshirting this season for personal reasons, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, driving without a valid license and for investigation of failing to register his vehicle or having an expired registration, according to the Utah County Sheriff's Office.
Bernard is not currently enrolled at BYU, according to football spokesman Brett Pyne. BYU spokesman Duff Tittle said a student-athlete can redshirt without being enrolled in classes.
According to Sgt. Spencer Cannon, a deputy stopped Bernard around 1:10 a.m. near an apartment complex in Vineyard for having an expired registration.
Cannon said 22-year-old Marvin Hifo, a BYU safety, was also in the car with Bernard at the time of the arrest. He said Hifo was cited for having an open container of alcohol.
Bernard was released on his own recognizance from jail a few hours after the incident.
This wasn't the junior linebacker's first brush with the law.
Bernard was convicted in Provo Justice Court on two cases filed within four months of each other in 2016, according to court documents. Provo police say the incidents stemmed from noise complaints by neighbors.
The first incident happened on Aug. 14, 2016. Bernard was found guilty last January of noise disturbance, a class B misdemeanor. He was fined $150 and placed on probation, according to court records.
The second incident was on Dec. 4, 2016. Bernard was charged with disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor. He pleaded guilty in April and the charge was reduced to an infraction. He was fined an additional $150, according to court records.
Bernard was set to be a starting linebacker this season until the school announced his decision to redshirt for personal reasons on Aug. 17.
Days later, Bernard’s older brother, James, told The Salt Lake Tribune that Francis would seek a release from BYU in order to transfer to arch-rival Utah. James Bernard expressed his frustration over the way BYU’s Honor Code Office had handled the situation involving his brother.49 comments on this story
Bernard joined BYU’s program in 2015 as a running back, then was switched to linebacker prior to the 2016 season. As a freshman, Bernard rushed 52 times for 334 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 6.4 yards per carry.
Last season at linebacker, the former Herriman High star finished third on the team in tackles, with 80, to go along with 5.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and three interceptions.
Bernard did not play in BYU’s victory over Wyoming in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 21 for undisclosed reasons.
He did participate in spring practices and most of fall camp.