USC Trojans cornerback Josh Shaw began the week being hailed as a hero for injuring his ankles when, per his original story, he jumped from a second story balcony to save a nephew who was at risk of drowning in a swimming pool in a Palmdale. But this afternoon, the USC Athletic Department announced that the story was "a complete fabrication." Shaw is cited as apologizing, but he does not speak personally or explain what actually happened that led to injuries to both ankles. Only head football coach Steve Sarkisian speaks in today's USC announcement.
A separate story posted at USCTrojans.com includes a statement from Shaw through his lawyer.
My client, Joshua Shaw, has asked me to make the following statement on his behalf:
"On Saturday, August 23, 2014, I injured myself in a fall. I made up a story about this fall that was untrue. I was wrong to not tell the truth. I apologize to USC for this action on my part.
"My USC coaches, the USC Athletic Department, and especially coach Sarkisian have all been supportive of me during my college career and for that, I am very grateful."
There have been media reports that Shaw's name surfaced in an LAPD investigation into a weekend incident at the Orsini Apartments in downtown.
Today's USC 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).
That earlier story has been removed from USC's website.