LOS ANGELES – USC senior cornerback Josh Shaw admitted to school officials he had fabricated a story about rescuing a 7-year-old nephew from drowning and lied about how he suffered ankle injuries.
Shaw, who has been the focus of controversy this week, was suspended from the team indefinitely.
“We are extremely disappointed in Josh,” USC coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement. “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.”
Sarkisian, previously coach of the Washington Huskies, is in his first season as USC’s coach.
- WSU study: 'Exploding head syndrome' more common than once thought
- Oregon Zoo elephant Rama euthanized; loved to paint
- Ivar's to raise restaurant workers' wages to $15 right away
- Orca baby boom continues with discovery of fourth calf
- Bertha's damaged cutter head emerges from pit
Most Read Stories
In a statement released through attorney Donald Etra, Shaw acknowledged lying but did not say what actually happened.
“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.”
USC’s statement did not include an explanation of how Shaw was injured.
“I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized,” Sarkisian said. “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.”
Shaw, 22, started his college career at Florida.
No. 15 USC plays its opener against visiting Fresno State on Saturday.
Shaw trended nationally Monday after USC posted a story on its website of the alleged rescue of his nephew last Saturday night, a tale that included leaping from a second-story balcony at an apartment in Palmdale, north of Los Angeles.
The story turned Tuesday when Sarkisian announced USC was investigating Shaw’s account after it received phone calls contradicting the story.
The Los Angeles Police Department later disclosed Shaw’s name was included in a report from an incident that occurred Saturday night at the Los Angeles apartment complex where he lives. Police have said Shaw is not a suspect in any crime.
Etra said Shaw was not involved in criminal activity and would not discuss how his client was injured, other than to say Shaw fell off a balcony at the apartments.
USC athletic director Pat Haden said, “Right now, what we know is we have a kid that fabricated a story, period.”
• Coach Larry Fedora of No. 23 North Carolina said four players are suspended for Saturday’s opener against Liberty. On Tuesday, Yahoo Sports reported an alleged hazing altercation that left walk-on receiver Jackson Boyer with a possible concussion.
Fedora said the four players — Des Lawrence, Brian Walker, Donnie Miles and M.J. Stewart — were suspended for a “violation of team policy,” but offered no other details about what rules were broken.
• Wil Lutz kicked a 26-yard field goal with four seconds left and Georgia State won for the first time as an FBS member, beating Abilene Christian 38-37 to snap its losing streak at 16.