Josh Shaw has admitted to USC athletic department officials that he made up the story about how he injured his ankles while rescuing his nephew from drowning Saturday night.
The athletic department released an official statement about the situation:
"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.”"
According to the statement, Shaw has been suspended indefinitely.
USC posted the story about Shaw rescuing his drowning nephew on Monday afternoon, but Tuesday brought forth questions about the events as they unfolded.
An LAPD police report connects Shaw to an incident at the Orsini Apartments at around the same time as the rescue supposedly took place. The report does not name Shaw as a suspect, but he was mentioned as the boyfriend of the woman who’s apartment was allegedly burglarized (though nothing was stolen). He also matches the description of the African-American male with dreadlocks who was seen by witnesses fleeing from the third floor balcony.
Shaw has retained a lawyer and is expected to release a statement soon.
Shaw released his statement via his lawyer, Donald Etra, a criminal defense attorny:
"“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.”"
Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman reported that Etra has denied any criminal problems for Shaw, despite the hiring of a criminal defense attorney.