USC cornerback Josh Shaw told USC athletic department officials Wednesday afternoon that he lied about how he suffered two sprained ankles this past Saturday. Shaw originally said he was injured after jumping from a two-story balcony to save his 7-year-old nephew from drowning while at a family function at his cousin's apartment in Palmdale, Calif.
USC's official athletic site is reporting that Shaw admitted to completely fabricating the story. Shaw has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities.
"We are extremely disappointed in Josh," USC coach Steve 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.
"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."
USC says Shaw apologized for misleading the university and the public. The school also says Shaw has retained criminal defense lawyer Donald Etra.
Etra released a statement on Shaw's behalf Wednesday evening that read:
"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."
The school also apologized for publishing the initial story detailing Shaw's fictitious tale of heroism.