In August, USC’s website published a story about Shaw saying that he injured both ankles after he jumped off the third story balcony of his cousin’s apartment complex in Palmdale, Calif., and landed on concrete trying to get into a pool in efforts to save his nephew.
Shaw maintained that lie for three days before releasing a statement saying that he made up the story. He apologized to the university and USC head coach Steve Sarkisian.
USC suspended Shaw, with Sarkisian saying that Shaw could “potentially” return to the team at some point this season.
Earlier this week, Shaw told the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke that he confessed to school officials after they found out he had jumped off his balcony after an argument with his girlfriend. The police were called to the apartment as a result of the incident and authorities opened a domestic violence probe. He has not been charged with any crime.
Shaw told Plaschke that on Aug. 23 he went home to meet his girlfriend, Angela Chilton, of seven years. The two started arguing and Chilton ran down the hall. Shaw stayed in the apartment until he heard cops on the street. Shaw said he was wearing only flip-flops when he jumped from the balcony and landed on his feet. Shaw then called his brother and did not go to the hospital.
"I was in excruciating pain," he said. "But I thought, how do I explain to my coaches that, as a senior captain, I just shattered both of my legs? I wanted to come up with something that they would say, ‘Josh, if you got hurt, that's a good reason to get hurt.' That's where fabrication came in."
Shaw admits he didn’t think that when he told the story about his nephew that it could be proven. He told USC officials the balcony story the day after the incident and they ordered him to go to the hospital.
"I thought I could find an easy way out of something, but that doesn't work -- I have made a mistake, and I have paid for it," he said. "And whether I do play or don't play again, I'll be forever grateful [to] USC for giving me a chance."
Sarkisian welcomed him back to the team after the Trojans lost 37-31 to Boston College on Sept. 13, but he has yet to play in a game.
- Scooby Axson