Josh Shaw reinstated by USC

ByKyle Bonagura ESPN logo
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

USC cornerback Josh Shaw has been reinstated to the team, the school announced Tuesday.

Shaw had been suspended since late August, when he fabricated a story to explain how he suffered two high ankle sprains as a result of jumping from the balcony of his third-story apartment following an argument with his girlfriend. He initially -- and repeatedly -- told USC officials the injury occurred as a result of a leap from a balcony in an effort to save his drowning nephew. That story was shared on USC's website and quickly became a national story before Shaw admitted he had made it up.

His reinstatement was announced on the USC website.

"For several months, local authorities have been investigating the August 23 incident involving Josh Shaw. They have now concluded that investigation and determined that no action will be taken against him," USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement. "USC also conducted its own internal investigation of Josh, evaluating both athletic department code of conduct and potential NCAA compliance issues.

"Based on these investigations and their conclusions, and the 10-game suspension Josh has served for code of conduct violations, we have made the decision to reinstate him. The role Josh will have in any remaining games is now in the hands of Coach [Steve] Sarkisian."

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Shaw said he and girlfriend Angela Chilton argued the night of the incident, and a neighbor called the police. He jumped from the apartment's balcony when police arrived but maintains the argument did not turn physical.

"We were not on good terms when she left, I thought she had somebody call authorities," Shaw told the Times. "I was thinking the worst. If she did say anything, I'm a black man with dreadlocks, and with everything going on in the country at the time, all that stuff in St. Louis [Ferguson, Missouri] ... in my mind, I'm going to leap from the balcony so authorities did not see me."

He told the Times that he had hoped USC officials would accept the story and everyone would move on, and that he did not expect the story to gain the traction it did.

Sarkisian had maintained throughout the season that there was a chance Shaw could rejoin the team.

"I've welcomed Josh Shaw back to the team," Sarkisian said in a statement Tuesday. "I'm now in the process of evaluating how Josh can contribute to the team's success."

Kevon Seymour and Adoree' Jackson were listed as the Trojans' starting cornerbacks on this week's depth chart.

Shaw, a fifth-year senior, was voted a team captain before the season. However, Sarkisian told reporters after Tuesday's practice that he is removing Shaw as a captain.

He has recorded six interceptions for the Trojans since transferring from Florida in January 2012 and was expected to be a major part of the team's defense after starting all 14 games in 2013.

USC (7-3, 6-2 Pac-12), No. 19 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, plays at No. 9 UCLA on Saturday. The Trojans are still in contention to win the Pac-12 South.