Josh Shaw has come clean to USC that he did not save his drowning nephew. The school has released the following statement:
USC senior cornerback Josh Shaw came to USC athletic department officials this afternoon (Wednesday, Aug. 27) and admitted that he had lied about how he suffered his ankle injuries over the weekend. He said that the story he told of rescuing his nephew in a pool in Palmdale, Calif., was a complete fabrication. He apologized for misleading his coaches, teammates, athletic department officials and the public.
“We are extremely disappointed in Josh,” said USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian. “He let us all down. 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.”
Sarkisian said that Shaw has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities. Shaw has retained Donald Etra as legal counsel. Etra will issue a statement on Shaw’s behalf soon. USC regrets the posting of the initial story on Monday (Aug. 25).
It remains unclear whether, and to what extent, any of these unconfirmed reports are true about how Shaw sustained his injuries, though the Orange County Register passes along something akin to TMZ’s “shimmying” report:
A man named Josh Shaw was listed in a police report as the boyfriend of the victim of a possible break-in at an apartment a few miles from the USC campus Saturday night, L.A. Police Department officer Sally Madera said. It is not clear whether that’s the USC football player of the same name.
Police responded about 10:40 p.m. to a radio call of a woman screaming at a residence in the 500 block of North Figueroa Street. Officers were directed to an apartment unit but found no one inside. They did see that the rear window had been pried open, and witnesses said they saw a “black male with dreadlocks” leaving via a balcony. When the woman returned to the apartment, she mentioned that her boyfriend was named Josh Shaw, who is black and has dreadlocks.
Shaw, who has six interceptions in the last two seasons, started all 14 games in 2013 and was expected to be a major part of the Trojans secondary this year.
With injury, suspension and distraction all standing in his way, though, it may be a while before he is able to contribute.
USC hosts Fresno State on Saturday, Aug. 30, in its season opener. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.