Josh Shaw, the USC senior cornerback who claimed he sprained both of his ankles while rescuing his seven-year-old nephew from a pool Saturday, admitted to making up the entire story Wednesday afternoon.
"We are extremely disappointed in Josh," said USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian. "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."
USC said it regrets posting the initial story on Shaw on its athletics web site.
"I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized," Sarkisian said. "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."
Sarkisian also said Shaw, elected a team captain Saturday, has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities.
Shaw retained Donald Etra as outside counsel, who issued a statement on Shaw's behalf.
The statement read: "On Saturday August 13, 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."