Who Is Josh Shaw and Why Did He Lie?

Stanford v USC

Whoever answers the second half of the aforementioned question will be sure to get a lot of attention. It is completely baffling as to why anyone, especially a top-level NCAA defensive back, would fabricate such a story. Following a suspension announced by USC late Wednesday, one thing is certain, Josh Shaw has everyone’s attention.

Shaw is a USC senior who made news Monday after telling reporters he severely injured both ankles after jumping from a two-story building to rescue his nephew from drowning. After speculation swirling the story might be untrue, he told USC personnel Wednesday that the story was in fact a lie.

Shaw said the following in a statement:

“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.

“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 coach Steve Sarkisian said, “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.” 

According to the LA Times, USC started investigating the authenticity of the story after they learned the Los Angeles Police Department disclosed that Shaw’s name appeared in a police report from an incident that occurred at a downtown apartment complex Saturday night. 

So there you have it. It sounds like Shaw did something illegal, or at the very least, unethical, and had to fabricate a lie about his injuries to avoid more trouble. However, why in the world would anyone create such a fable that would involve saving a family member’s life? This story either goes deeper than we will ever know (think Manti Te’o controversy) or Shaw is the most incoherent , futile, senseless con artist to ever play collegiate athletics. 

It is not known how long Shaw will be suspended. In my opinion he should be kept off the team until it is uncovered as to why he fabricated his larger than life story that was released Monday and his suspension from play should begin only after his ankles are healed. Upon the truth coming out, USC should then re-analyze how to handle the situation.

This is another instance of a glorified athlete appearing to believe they are not only bigger than the game of which they play, but bigger than the public that supports them. Shaw needs to be punished accordingly. 

And just in case you were wondering, Shaw wasn’t just an integral part of the USC defense that ranked first in pass defense in the Pac-12 last season, but he was named team captain Saturday, meaning whatever incident that he’s keeping secret happened just after he was elected the official leader of the Trojans D. Some way to celebrate.

Shaw is a redshirt senior from Palmdale, CA and transferred from Florida to USC in 2012. He was All Pac-12 Honorable Mention in 2013.

USC hosts Fresno State Saturday for their season opener. 

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports.

Photo Credit: Getty