Column: Josh Shaw shames USC with injury fabrication
In a bizarre turn of events, USC senior cornerback Josh Shaw has been suspended indefinitely from the football program for lying about how he suffered an ankle injury.
Reports came out a few days ago that Shaw injured both his ankles while jumping from the second story of an apartment building to save his 7-year-old nephew from drowning. However, conflicting reports surfaced shortly afterwards.
USC investigated the issue, but according to multiple reports, Shaw admitted on Wednesday that he made up the story and lied to coaches about the true nature of his injury.
Shaw was heralded as a hero and model citizen after the “news” came out about his heroic tale. ESPN football analysts devoted portions of their segments to his story, and many praised him for his good deed.
I myself considered Shaw to be a hero and commemorated him for his actions that potentially saved another’s life.
Sadly, it was all for naught.
Now, I don’t personally know Shaw, so he could very well be an upstanding guy who made a bad decision. We are all human and make bad decisions; I get that.
It’s just hard for me to fathom how this entire situation went down.
How could the USC football program not investigate this before the news hit the public? In today’s world of catfishing, Lennay Kekua and general capability to fabricate anything and everything, why would USC not cover its bases and check if Shaw’s story actually happened?
According to an ESPN article, USC head coach Steve Sarkisian gave a statement today where he stated he was surprised Shaw lied.
“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 understand how Sarkisian would be inclined to believe Shaw’s story, but you can never be too careful in today’s world. Taking the extra measure to verify his story, especially considering the story came out from USCTrojans.com, the official site of USC Trojans Athletics, would have saved the program from national embarrassment.
From now on, this entire situation will put a damper on collegiate athletes who actually do a good deed like Shaw lied about doing.
—Follow Roberto Payne on Twitter @HouseofPayne555