USC senior cornerback Josh Shaw went from hero to zero in a span of two days.
Shaw admitted to university officials Wednesday to lying about how he injured his ankles over the weekend, and he has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities.
“We are extremely disappointed in Josh,” Sarkisian said in the statement. “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.”
USC initially reported Monday that Shaw hurt himself after jumping from the second story of an apartment complex to save his seven-year-old nephew who was drowning in a pool. But by Tuesday, the university began receiving calls contradicting the story and began investigating the matter.
According to USC’s statement, Shaw has retained a lawyer and will release a statement of his own.
UPDATE (7:15 p.m.): Shaw didn’t wait long to release his statement, via his lawyer.
“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.”