USC football player Josh Shaw has been suspended indefinitely after telling the school that he lied about saving his seven-year-old nephew from drowning.
In a statement, USC said the story was a “complete fabrication” on Shaw’s part.
On Monday USC’s website ran a story in which Shaw claimed he suffered two high ankle sprains while leaping from a second-floor balcony to save his nephew from drowning in a swimming pool at a family party in Palmdale on Saturday. That story came into question Tuesday amid reports that he was mentioned in a police report related to a burglary in Los Angeles.
His story fully unravelled Wednesday.
Here’s the athletic department’s 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 behaviour 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).
“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 not to tell the true. I apologise to USC for this action on my part.
“My USC coaches, the USC Athletic Department, and especially coach Sakisian have all been supportive of me during my college career and for that, I am very grateful.”
Shaw, a senior cornerback, was elected team captain last week.
The LAPD said in a statement on Tuesday, “We’ve got no record of us having a run in with him. That’s not to say something didn’t happen with him. We have no record of anything happening.”
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