Josh Shaw Story Out, Sarkisian Wanted Him Back Months Ago


Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

In a tell-all story with the LA Times Bill Plaschke this morning, suspended USC defensive back Josh Shaw detailed the events leading to his suspension, and his tribulations since fabricating a story of how he suffered a pair of ankle sprains in August.

According to Shaw, the lie stemmed from his fear of a season-ending injury and not being able to explain it to USC. He also elaborated on the alleged domestic violence incident, denying any physical altercation with his girlfriend.

But perhaps the most intriguing part of the report isn’t the revelation of what happened or the fact that Shaw isn’t expected to face any legal charges.

It’s that according Shaw and Plaschke, the senior could have started playing football two months ago and was wanted back by head coach Steve Sarkisian before USC’s Week 3 loss to BC.

"For nearly three months, Shaw has faced the consequences, staying away from team activities and watching the Trojans only on television. Before the game against Boston College, Sarkisian told him he had paid enough of a price and would be welcomed back to the team. After the Boston College game, trainers and doctors approved him to return to the field. Yet he has missed the next six games while law enforcement officials and the university have conducted investigations."

It’s been widely speculated that Shaw’s continued omission from the team was out of the hands of Sarkisian, and this would lend great credence to that.

The scene now shifts back to USC’s administration to release their findings, or at least comment on the Plaschke story. It’s inevitable that they’ll be reached for comment.

It’s plausible that with the PR nightmare that the NFL had gone through back in September with Ray Rice, USC felt playing Josh Shaw before any sort of finalized investigation from the LAPD –regardless of how slim the odds were that he may have been charged– was just too risky for the court of public opinions. For a school that already had published a faulty story on Shaw’s behalf, such caution would only be natural.

At this point, with the Trojans having just finished up their second bye week of the season in preparation for tonight’s game against the Cal Bears, it seems unlikely that Shaw will ever play again for USC.

There’s just not much time left.

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