During the final week of August, USC cornerback Josh Shaw went from hero to zero. Now, Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian doesn’t even know if the senior will play for the team this season.
An elaborate hoax was initially concocted Aug. 25 in which Shaw supposedly sprained both ankles after he jumped off a second-story window to save his drowning nephew. It was revealed two days later that Shaw was named in a police report which could have caused his injuries. The investigation involved a potential domestic disturbance between Shaw and his girlfriend. USC doubted Shaw’s story from the beginning and indefinitely suspended the cornerback after he admitted he lied.
Shaw’s eventual return won’t be determined by Sarkisian or the team. University administration will be involved in the process.
“There is not even a decision to be made on our end at this point,” Sarkisian told the Orange County Register‘s Michael Lev.
Lev also reported, “Shaw’s reinstatement would have to go through several administrative layers before getting to Sarkisian, according to a source familiar with the situation.”
Sarkisian isn’t ruling out Shaw’s return this season, though.
“When you have a senior DB, you’d love to have him out there, especially in our conference where there are so many people throwing the ball,” Sarkisian said. “We haven’t even gotten to the meat of it yet. We still have Washington State and Cal to come, and these guys are unbelievable with what they are doing throwing the ball. We would love for that to occur.”
USC still faces three of the nation’s Top 20 passing offenses in Washington State, Cal and Colorado. Washington State and Cal are particularly prodigious passing programs and are currently first and third in the nation, respectively.
The Trojans, meanwhile, are 54th against the pass.
Shaw may not be the leader his team thought he was, but he would be a welcome addition to a secondary that needs all the help it can get.