I know, I know... As folks in BruinBabe4ever's fanpost have already noted, finding out that someone at USC lied is about as shocking as hearing that gambling is going on at Rick's Place. Over the past couple of days, what hadinitially sounded like a genuinely heroic story involving a trojan football player has been clearly and very publicly exposed as a fraud. As a result, as reported by Scott Wolf and several others, USC starting Defensive Back/co-team captain Josh Shaw has been indefinitely suspended from all team activities.
Shaw released a statement this afternoon through his attorney (again, shocking for a USC football player, right?). The statement, via the LA Times:
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.
As a refresher or for anyone who missed the early reports, Shaw showed up at USC at the start of the week suffering from what was diagnosed as two high ankle sprains. Shaw told university officials that he suffered the injuries while saving his young cousin from drowning in a swimming pool. Rather than first vetting the story - or even checking the timeline to make sure that Shaw was not somewhere like, say a USC booster party at the time of his 'heroic act', instead of far from campus in Palmdale - their PR department immediately began publicizing what turned out to be a highly embarrassing lie.
At best, Shaw's deceit was intended to be a little white lie to the team doctors and/or his coach to cover up some act of stupidity that resulted in one of the team's key players missing the first few games of the season with a pair of busted ankles. Others, including the team's LA Daily News beat writer, have less innocent theories.
While Steve Sarkisian had no choice but to punish Shaw after the embarrassment that his lie caused his team, the term of his 'indefinite suspension' will be something to watch out for. Remember that the one true thing about this incident is that Josh Shaw has high ankle sprains of both of his ankles, injuries that usually take several weeks to fully heal. Even aggressive treatment and a recovery on the shorter end of the timeframe as described by a St. Louis Rams consulting doctor would likely keep Shaw out through September.
While I am sure that not being able to hang out on the sidelines during games or sit on the bench watching teammates practice sucks, it won't be that much of a hardship if his suspension ends exactly when his ankles have healed enough to return to practice. Knowing Southern Cal, I expect nothing less.