USC reinstates suspended cornerback Josh Shaw to team


Time might not heal all wounds, but it did help the case of suspended cornerback Josh Shaw.

USC announced on Tuesday evening that Shaw would be reinstated to the team immediately, nearly 24 hours after it surfaced that he would not be charged by the Los Angeles district attorney in an incident from August.

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

Shaw made headlines across the country when an entry on the school website said he injured his ankles while jumping from a balcony to save a drowning nephew. It was later revealed the story was a fabrication and that Shaw injured himself running from police after an incident involving his girlfriend at a downtown apartment complex. LAPD did investigate the matter, but after a few months declined to bring a case against him.

"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 also conducted its own internal investigation of Josh, evaluating both athletic department code of conduct and potential NCAA compliance issues," athletic director Pat Haden said. "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 Sarkisian."

USC has two regular-season games left on the docket plus a bowl game but could play in as many as four contests if it reaches the Pac-12 title game.

The question for Shaw is how soon he can get back on the field and contribute for the Trojans. Slated to be the starting cornerback this year, Shaw has been rehabbing and working out while away from the team. Mentally, he might be ready to contribute a few plays here and there against the rival Bruins at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, but without any full-contact practices between now and then it's difficult to imagine him playing much.

A more likely scenario involves Shaw taking the field Nov. 29 against Notre Dame, which would be the Trojans' home finale at the Coliseum that doubles as Senior Day. Before the season, Shaw was elected captain, so it would make for a fitting ending to his USC career to play in that game.

NFL scouts are no doubt relieved at the prospect of seeing Shaw on the field, too. He was considered one of the top senior prospects at his position this year, and having some game tape on him before the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine probably would help his stock.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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