Southern Cal's handling of cornerback Josh Shaw's lie about how he sprained both his ankles has damanged the Trojans' trustworthiness in the eyes of an NFL scout. Just days before the start of the season, Shaw fabricated a story about how he suffered sprains to both his ankles, saying that he leaped from a balcony to save his 7-year-old nephew from drowning in a pool.
USC's official website broke the news. When it was later established that Shaw had lied, USC suspended him indefinitely. But for one NFL scout, the damage was already done.
"I'll have to weed through even more of SC's [expletive]," the scout said, according to si.com. "It definitely hurts. I'm not going to believe what I hear out of their mouths. It'll be more about their mannerisms and how their body language is."
According to the report, the NFL scouting community already had a jaded opinion about Southern Cal's integrity, under former coaches Pete Carroll and Lane Kiffin, in sharing information relevant to scouting reports about Trojans players. Current USC coach Steve Sarkisian was an assistant on the Trojans' staff under Carroll.
That's not the reputation any college football program wants if it hopes to get its top players drafted as highly as possible, and a track record of high draft picks is a key recruiting tool for major powers such as USC. As such, the scout's suggestion that USC has a reputation problem with scouts that goes back years is more concerning than anything related to the Shaw case in particular.
USC has two of the top pro prospects in the college game in defensive lineman Leonard Williams and wide receiver Nelson Agholor. Exactly how Shaw injured himself remains unclear, but police are investigating his possible involvement in a domestic violence incident.