Senior cornerback fabricated story about injuring himself while saving drowning nephew.
Josh Shaw notified his USC football team that he injured his ankles this past weekend after jumping from the second story of an apartment complex to save his drowning seven-year-old nephew in a pool. Heroic account, right? If only it were true.
On Wednesday, the senior cornerback informed team officials that his story was a complete fabrication, only divulging that his ankle injuries were suffered “in a fall.” On Saturday night, Shaw’s name was mentioned during a report to police officers in an alleged burglary attempt, but he was not named as a suspect. Sources told ESPNLA.com that witnesses told police that a man matching Shaw’s description was seen jumping off a three-story balcony at an apartment near USC. The Trojans didn’t specify how Shaw sustained his injuries either, but the university has suspended the senior indefinitely after he admitted that his whole story was a lie.
"I made up a story about this fall that was untrue," Shaw said in a statement released by his attorney to ESPN. "I was wrong not to tell the truth. I apologize to USC for this action on my part. My USC coaches, the USC Athletic Department, and especially coach [Steve] Sarkisian have all been supportive of me during my college career and for that, I am very grateful."
Trojans coach Sarkisian stood by Shaw when he first learned about how he was injured. On Wednesday, after Shaw’s admission, Sarkisian was left “disappointed.”
"He let us all down,” Sarkisian said in a statement, as reported by ESPN. “As I have said, nothing in his background led us to doubt him when he told us of his injuries, nor did anything after our initial vetting of his story. I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized. Although this type of behavior is out of character for Josh, it is unacceptable. Honesty and integrity must be at the center of our program. I believe Josh will learn from this. I hope that he will not be defined by this incident, and that the Trojan Family will accept his apology and support him."
Shaw’s indefinite suspension comes a week after he was named team captain. He started in all 14 games last season.
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(Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)