USC cornerback Josh Shaw messed up, and there’s really no other way to put it. The elite Pac-12 cornerback fabricated an entire story surrounding two high ankle sprains that quickly went viral. On August 23, Shaw initially told USC officials that he had suffered the injuries attempting to save his drowning cousin from a third story balcony. Instead, the story was quickly scrutinized until ultimately the truth came out that Shaw suffered the sprained ankles after a neighbor called the police for an argument between Shaw and his girlfriend. Both sides insist that the disagreement never got physical and that Shaw was simply scared of the repercussions faced.
“We were not on good terms when she left, I thought she had somebody call authorities,” Shaw said. “I was thinking the worst. If she did say anything, I’m a black man with dreadlocks, and with everything going on in the country at the time, all that stuff in St. Louis [Ferguson, Missouri] … in my mind, I’m going to leap from the balcony so authorities did not see me.”
All along the team captain was fearful about what the school would say, but sports information director Tim Tessalone interviewed Shaw several times before publishing the article on the team’s website. Three days following the press release, Shaw admitted to his fallacy and was suspended indefinitely from the team.
“It gets harder and harder to keep up with lie after lie after lie … the timeline wasn’t right … everything was off … but I was still lying,” Shaw said. “I thought I was in way too deep.”
Head coach Steve Sarkisian discussed Shaw’s status in a Sunday press conference and made it clear he hopes to have Shaw back on the field, but admitted the decision is simply out of his hands.
*Section Photo credit to Jeff Gross, Getty Images. Featured Photo (above) credit to Kirby Lee, USA Today Sports.