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Josh Shaw admits he lied, suspended indefinitely

By Tom Fornelli | Staff Writer

And so it seems the Josh Shaw saga at USC has reached its conclusion.

The school announced Wednesday evening that Shaw admitted to athletic department officials that he fabricated his story about hurting his ankles while saving his nephew in a pool and he's been suspended indefinitely.

Shaw injured himself in a fall from a balcony, according to a statement he released through his attorney, Donald Etra. "There is no criminal aspect to this whatsoever," Etra told USA Today, and also said there was no alcohol involved in the incident.

"We are extremely disappointed in Josh," said USC coach Steve Sarkisian in a release. "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."

USC originally reported that Shaw had suffered his ankle injury while rescuing his nephew on Monday, but by Tuesday Sarkisian announced that the school had received calls contradicting Shaw's story and would be vetting the account. Earlier Wednesday Sarkisian said campus authorities were investigating the story.

Shaw released his own statement through his lawyer Wednesday night.

"On Saturday August 23, 2014, I injured myself in a fall," said Shaw. "I made up a story about this fall that was untrue. I was wrong not to tell the truth. I apologize to USC for my action on this 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."

USC opens its season against Fresno State on Saturday.

Josh Shaw jumped from a second floor balcony to save his nephew from drowning. (USATSI)
Josh Shaw has been suspended indefinitely. (USATSI)

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