Nobody’s really sure what Josh Shaw was thinking. He’ll have some time now to think about what he’s done.
The Indianapolis Star is reporting that in a conference with USC head coach Steve Sarkisian, and with attorney Donald Etra representing him, Josh Shaw did admit lying to USC regarding how he suffered high ankle sprains to both his ankles, yet did not disclose how he sustained the injuries. Previously, he stated he jumped from a second story balcony to crawl to a pool where Shaw’s 7-year-old nephew was in distress, and saved the boy.
The school announced Wednesday that Shaw was suspended indefinitely from all school activities after admitting his story was “a complete fabrication.”
“We are extremely disappointed in Josh,” Sarkisian said. “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.”
Shaw is a fifth-year senior for USC, who had designated him a team captain, and also considered him a key component to the defensive backfield in Sarkisian’s first year at USC. He was considered a solid leader and teammate for the 15th ranked Trojans, who begin the season Saturday at home against Fresno State.
Shaw issued a short statement through an attorney on Wednesday after being suspended.
“On Saturday, August 23, 2014, I injured myself in a fall,” Shaw said. “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.”
The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Sarkisian is also stating he and the USC athletic department share some responsibility in this matter, but did say Shaw could return sometime this season.
“Obviously there’s some other things that need to take place,” Sarkisian said Thursday after USC’s practice. “But in the meantime, he’s got to take care of his health and take care of himself, and when the time is right to bring him back, we will.”
Etra did say after the conference with USC officials that no criminal wrongdoing was involved with how Shaw was injured. “The injury was caused by a fall from his balcony at his apartment,” Etra told the Associated Press on Thursday. “He is very remorseful. He accepted responsibility for telling the untruth. He has apologized to USC, and he’s looking forward to putting this behind him.”
Etra said his office is still “doing further investigations” into the circumstances of Shaw’s injury, which is why the fifth-year senior hasn’t fully explained his injuries to the school.