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Josh Shaw Tells His Side of Story for First Time

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Sark wanted to welcome him back after Boston College, but school hasn't allowed that.

Josh Shaw tries to explain his mistakes.
Josh Shaw tries to explain his mistakes.
Shotgun Spratling/Conquest Chronicles

"My biggest mistake wasn't jumping from the balcony, it was in not calling my father after I did," Shaw said. "I would not be sitting with you today if I done so. I tried to keep it from my father, and I will regret that to the day I die."

Suspended USC Trojans cornerback Josh Shaw sat down with Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke and spoke out of the first time since injuring both of his ankles, fabricating a story about saving his nephew and ultimately having his story unravel and the truth come forth.

The redshirt senior has been suspended since that point even though he says in the story that head coach Steve Sarkisian has been willing to welcome him back since after the Boston College game. Shaw has missed six games since that time while the university and police have conducted investigations.

Shaw said he had a loud, but not overly loud argument with his girlfriend, but was spooked when he saw the police cars because of everything that had been happening in Ferguson, Missouri with police brutality. He jumped from the third-story balcony despite wearing flip-flops.

When he hit the ground and the pain shot up through his legs, Shaw thought he had broken both legs. That was part of the reason why he fabricated the story of saving his nephew because he feared a season-ending injury and didn't know how to explain it to his teammates and coaches.

Josh Shaw also talks about lying to Sarkisian, senior associate athletic director J.K. McKay, but most importantly, his parents.

"My father is someone with wisdom, my father would have me tell the truth, we would have called Sark that night," he said.

He says he didn't think the story would go viral and believed it to be airtight since there is a balcony above a pool at a family member's residence. He also thought that with just himself, his sister and children being involved, the story didn't have a chance to unravel.

According to the story, Josh Shaw tried to get USC to release the injury as an "undisclosed injury" twice, but he was told no. Sports information director Tim Tessalone, whose office put out the rescue story on Monday, tries to explain why that wasn't possible:

"I asked them twice if they could release the injury as an undisclosed injury," Shaw said. "Both times the answer was no."

In an interview Wednesday, Tessalone explained why Shaw's story would have been difficult to hide.

"We have our starting cornerback being carted around campus in a wheelchair, people would be seeing it," said Tessalone. "We knew it was a feel-good story, but we also knew it was a news story."

Shaw also tells why he continued the lie after seeing it repeated over and over on ESPN:

"It gets harder and harder to keep up with lie after lie after lie … the timeline wasn't right ... everything was off ... but I was still lying," Shaw said. "I thought I was in way too deep."

Bill Plaschke does a great job of showing the remorse Josh Shaw exudes during their interview.

Make sure you head over to the Los Angeles Times and read the entire story (or who knows, maybe even pick up a paper copy of the newspaper).