USC's Shaw admits to lying about injuries, rescue
LOS ANGELES (AP) Southern California cornerback Josh Shaw confessed that he lied to school officials about how he sprained his ankles last weekend, retracting his story about jumping off a balcony to save his drowning nephew.
The school swiftly suspended him Wednesday from all team activities and acknowledged his heroic tale was "a complete fabrication."
The tale began to unravel soon after the team captain was lauded for his heroics in a story on the team's website Monday. In the account, Shaw described how he instinctively jumped from a balcony, with no one around, to rescue his 7-year-old nephew in a pool in his hometown of Palmdale, California. The school said a day later callers questioned the story, and began vetting it.
But the biggest question remains unanswered: What was he doing, and how did he injure his ankles?
"We are extremely disappointed in Josh," USC coach Steve Sarkisian said. "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."
The Los Angeles Police Department has confirmed that a man named Joshua Shaw was mentioned - but not as a suspect - in a report involving a break-in at a downtown apartment building Saturday night. The department has not made the report public.
Shaw is a fifth-year senior, a captain and a key starter in USC's defensive secondary. He is widely considered a solid teammate and an important leader for the 15th-ranked Trojans, who begin their first season under Sarkisian at the Coliseum on Saturday against Fresno State.
Shaw issued a short statement through criminal defense attorney Donald Etra on Wednesday after being suspended.
"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."
Etra didn't respond to a request for further details about the cause of Shaw's injuries.
Shaw didn't attend practice Wednesday, missing his second straight day of workouts. Although he is barred from team activities, his injuries also would keep him out of workouts for at least a few weeks.
Shortly after Shaw's yarn was made public, the football program received phone calls contradicting Shaw's version of his injuries. Sarkisian has not said who made the calls, but the school acknowledged the discrepancies Tuesday morning and began investigating Shaw, who initially stuck to his story.
"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."
It's unclear whether Shaw could face additional discipline from USC for lying to school officials. A USC spokesperson didn't immediately return a request for clarification about the school's student conduct policies.
Shaw and the school still haven't acknowledged any connection to the LAPD report from officers who responded to a woman screaming in a downtown apartment complex Saturday. USC is on the south end of downtown.
Officers interviewed several people at the building, and a woman told the police that someone had pried open a window, entered the third-floor apartment and fled, but nothing was taken. The woman also acknowledged "a relationship" with Shaw, according to LAPD Lt. Andy Nieman.
Sarkisian insisted the situation won't be a distraction for the Trojans, but still allowed only two of Shaw's defensive teammates to speak with the media after practice Wednesday morning.
Linebacker Hayes Pullard and defensive lineman Leonard Williams both acknowledged surprise at the situation that developed after Shaw's account was challenged, but remained supportive of their fifth-year senior captain.
"We were pretty shocked," said Williams, who hasn't spoken to Shaw. "Josh Shaw is a pretty loyal guy. I would never expect him to make up a story. I would never expect that out of him as a team leader."
Shaw's leadership and character were widely praised throughout his first two seasons of play at the school. He transferred back to his native Los Angeles area from Florida, in part to help out his ailing grandfather with the family landscaping business.
"Josh has been a great guy," Pullard said. "He has great character. I've never known him to lie about anything ... so it's surprising. This is exactly when our leadership roles come in. We talk to guys and let them know what's expected, and we'll keep us focused on our team."
Updated August 27, 2014
We check in with Big Vince Wilfork on a Patriots Monday and get his take on the defense's progression, his interception, his teammate Darrelle Revis and playing Monday Night Football in KC.
We check in with the head coach for his reaction to the Patriots win against Oakland, the offense's struggles, Julien Edelman, and playing in KC on Monday Night.
We check in with Tedy Bruschi on a Patriots Monday for his reaction to the Patriots struggles, Julien Edelman and his strong comments about his desire to see Roger Goodell lose his job.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Joe and Dave talk with David Ortiz after he hits two home runs to propel the Red Sox to an extra-innings win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Ben Cherington discussed the debut of Castillo and his thoughts on Jeter.
As the season winds down, We check in Sox skipper John Farrell as we await the Boston debut of Rusney Castillo.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
Tom joined the show after the close win over Oakland.
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to discuss week 3 in the NFL.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Christian and Fauria re-visit their karaoke battle from over the weekend, with audio!
Oakland drove down deep into the Patriots red zone with a minute to play on Sunday in a bid to tie the game and send it to overtime. Jones was asked if he and his teammates were nervous at all towards the end; He refuted the assertion saying the team clamped down and became more composed. Veterans Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork are vocal leaders and can calm the defense down. And then, all four of the guys had a laugh over rookie Brian Stork's post-game interview with reporters.
Edelman talked about his scary play in the red zone to start off the 4th quarter, in which he flipped in the air and landed on his head. He was fine, but admits that players need to be aware of the down and importance of putting your health in jeopardy over the course of a 16 game season. The guys asked him about the offense's struggles, and Gronk's inability to pull in a tipped ball in the end zone.
We tackle four great performers from Week 3 in the National Football League.
We check in with the great 88, the playmaker Michael Irvin joins Dale and Holley.
Michael, Dale and Tom E. Curran break down, react and take your calls about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's first public press conference this regular season.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Jerry Thornton joins Dino and Kirk for the second edition of Breaking Balls. They dive into a variety of topics including their feelings about polarizing Boston sports media members.
Your beloved hosts are joined by WEEI.com Bruins reporter DJ Bean as well as producer of the Dennis & Callahan Show, Craig "Sausage" Sawisch. Support America: Support Your Local Post Office
Dennis, Callahan and Minihane make their podcast debut. This week's topics include Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Jenny Dell and some discussion on people we've encountered with the worst breath.
Dino, Kirk and Thornton opened the show discussing an ugly win by the Patriots.More from this show
The defense was forced to make a stop in the last minute of the game to preserve the 16-9 victory on Sunday. The offense had no rhythm again and struggled in the red zone. The offensive line looked poor again. Lou, Christian and Tim talk about the win that looked like a loss, and what this team needs to do to improve.More from this show