USC senior cornerback Josh Shaw has admitted to university officials that a story he had told about injuring his ankles while saving his nephew from drowning was a “complete fabrication.”
A statement on the team's website, posted Wednesday night, read:
“Shaw came to USC athletic department officials this afternoon 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.”
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The team announced that Shaw had been suspended from all team activities indefinitely.
Shaw released a statement through an attorney, saying: “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 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."
Shaw sprained both of his ankles on Saturday, and told officials that he had sustained the injuries while jumping from a second-floor balcony in order to save his nephew, who was in trouble in a swimming pool.
Sarkisian then announced Tuesday that the university was investigating Shaw's account, after receiving “a few phone calls contradicting what Josh said occurred Saturday night.” The school has not revealed how Shaw actually sustained his injury.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that the Los Angeles police are investigating a burglary at the apartment where Shaw fell and that detectives want to speak to him.
Police reportedly responded late Saturday to a woman screaming in the apartment complex. Officers forced their way into the unit but found it empty. Witnesses had reported seeing a man who fit Shaw's description fleeing across a balcony.
IndyStar reports that Shaw is a fifth-year senior, a team captain and a key starter in USC's defensive secondary, widely regarded as a solid teammate and an important team leader for the 15th-ranked Trojans.