Updates from Thursday, Sept. 4
Steve Sarkisian spoke about Josh Shaw's original story and his status with the team following his suspension (via Gottlieb.Radio.CBSSports.com):
“For me, it was, ‘Okay, this sounds a little far-fetched. Let me keep digging, keep digging, keep dinging,’” Sarkisian said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “The thing about it, Josh had never given me – or anybody here – any reason not to believe him. I mean, this guy spoke at our commencement. This guy’s already earned his degree. He’s been working downtown. He’s been elected captain by his teammates. It was hard not to believe him.”
“And then when it finally came out that (he lied), it was disappointing,” Sarkisian continued. “I felt for Josh – because I know that’s not really him. He’s a kid who panicked and did the wrong thing and didn’t know what to do about it. I wish he had done it better from the very beginning because I know the type of person he is, and I really felt bad for him.”
Sarkisian has spoken with Shaw a few times since he admitted to fabricating the story of how he saved his drowning nephew.
“He obviously expressed his willingness to apologize and to be sorry for it and for putting the team in the situation we were put in,” Sarkisian said. “He’s working through it all. We’ll go from there. We’ll see what happens.”
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 28
Mike Hiserman of the LA Times reports why Josh Shaw was mentioned in an incident report:
The LAPD said that the window of a downtown apartment where Shaw’s girlfriend lives had been pried open and a that man she said fit Shaw's description was seen descending from its balcony by eyewitnesses.
Officers responded about 10:40 p.m. Saturday to a report of a “screaming woman” inside an apartment at the Orsini Apartments on North Figueroa Street, Officer Sara Faden said.
Faden said witnesses told police they had seen a black man with dreadlocks climbing from the third-floor balcony of the apartment. The woman who resides in that unit then arrived on the scene.
Given the description of the man provided by witnesses, she said it fit that of her boyfriend, Shaw.
Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com passed along comments from Steve Sarkisian on Shaw following his suspension:
Sark said he could potentially see #JoshShaw returning to the team. Seemed rather iffy.— Ryan Abraham (@insidetroy) August 28, 2014
USC CB Josh Shaw revealed on Wednesday that he did not injure his ankles during a brave rescue attempt to save his drowning nephew.
According to an official statement released by the USC Athletic Department, via USCTrojans.com's Jordan Moore, the senior has admitted his original story was a complete fabrication.
His lawyer confirmed the report with a statement on behalf of Shaw, via NFL.com's Bryan Fischer:
Josh Shaw's statement: pic.twitter.com/mFLrefLlFF— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) August 27, 2014
Tess Quinlan of USA Today provides more from Shaw's lawyer:
"There is no criminal aspect to this whatsoever."-Donald Etra, Josh Shaw's attorney. #USC— Tess Quinlan (@TessQuinlan) August 27, 2014
Head coach Steve Sarkisian also commented on the matter:
We are extremely disappointed in Josh. 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.
Billy Witz of the New York Times provided details on what exactly happened:
Shaw, 22, was injured Saturday night when he fell from a third-floor balcony at an apartment building in downtown Los Angeles, Donald Etra, a lawyer representing Shaw, said Wednesday in a phone interview. Etra declined to explain how Shaw fell.
Sarkisian also announced Shaw will be suspended indefinitely from all team activities.
Former USC teammate and current Washington Redskins running back Silas Redd was shocked by Shaw's questionable behavior:
Completely out of character for J Shaw man never would've thought.— Silas Redd (@ThirdEyeSi_) August 27, 2014
Of course, the book on this bizarre story can't be completely closed yet. There are still details about the injury that remain unclear, and Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch offered some words of wisdom to the young player:
Advice for Josh Shaw: Come clean with everything as fast as possible. Apologize often. The public is forgiving, especially for young people.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) August 27, 2014
Really, the quicker Shaw is able to put everything behind him, the better.
Shaw, who has six interceptions in the last two seasons, started all 14 games in 2013 and was expected to be a major part of the Trojans secondary this year.
With injury, suspension and distraction all standing in his way, though, it may be a while before he is able to contribute.
USC hosts Fresno State on Saturday, Aug. 30, in its season opener. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.