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.
The defensive back has also retained legal counsel, and will have a statement "soon." For now, what exactly he was doing when he injured himself remains a mystery.
Shaw's original story was published on the Trojans' blog on August 25; the story has been deleted. You can find a screencap of it below. It came into question Tuesday morning when head coach Steve Sarkisian said there had been multiple phone calls contradicting Shaw's telling of the events.
Update (7:09 p.m.): Shaw's statement, via his lawyer:
"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."
If you have any information on Shaw's Saturday night, reach us at email@example.com.