LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — USC cornerback and recently named team captain Josh Shaw has admitted to lying about how he sprained both his ankles last weekend, saying that his original story about jumping off a balcony to save his drowning nephew was a lie.
The university took action shortly after Shaw retracted his story, and the fifth-year senior has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities.
Shaw had been dubbed a hero on Monday after he had told school officials that he had jumped off a balcony Saturday night while trying to save his young nephew from drowning in a pool, resulting in both ankles being sprained.
Meanwhile, LAPD says that at about the same time Saturday night, they responded to a possible burglary call at a Downtown apartment building, where a man, fitting the description of Shaw, was seen outside on the balconies of the Orsini Apartments in Los Angeles.
The woman who lives in the apartment, evidently unaware of what had transpired, was given the description of the man by deputies, which matched that of her boyfriend — Jsoh Shaw.
On campus, students spoke with CBS’ Megan Goldsby, regarding the incident as the football season approaches this weekend.
Many other students expressed their willingness to “forgive and forget”.
The LAPD and USC both launched their own respective investigations into the event.
Shaw, who is on scholarship at USC, released a statement Wednesday afternoon through his attorney.
“On Saturday, August 23, 2014, I injured myself in a fall,” Shaw said. “I made up a story about this fall that was untrue. I was wrong not to 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.”
New USC head coach Steve Sarkisian spoke Wednesday, stating that the Trojans are “extremely disappointed in Josh.”
Sarkisian released a statement after Shaw admitted to lying about his injury.
“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. I hope that he will not be defined by this incident, and that the Trojan Family will accept his apology and support him.”
Sarkisian also spoke with CBS2 Sports Director Jim Hill from practice on Wednesday, and said he will not allow the Shaw incident to distract the Trojans from doing their job in Saturday’s season opener against Fresno State.
“We get into preparation mode, and it’s Tuesday, Wednesday, and we’ve got jobs to do all the way through, and the same thing with the team,” Sarkisian said. “I mean, we haven’t spent much time on it at all quite honestly. We’ve put in too much work over the last nine months to let an hour or two of social media and internet reports distract us from being a great football team.”
Shaw’s attorney, Donald Etra, spoke with KNX 1070, saying that the senior regrets having made the mistake, and reiterated that his client was not involved in any activity that would be considered suspicious during the time of the injury.
“…he did nothing wrong whatsoever,” Etra said. “There’s nothing that would have gotten him into trouble.”
Etra, who has represented celebrities in the past, tells CBS2’s Elsa Ramon that he does not expect his client to face any charges.
“I am saying that Shaw made a mistake by not describing what actually happened,” Etra said. “He injured himself in a fall from a balcony, and we are doing our own investigation, and we are not discussing any further details at this time.”