USC cornerback Josh Shaw admitted to school officials on Wednesday that the story involving him saving his nephew from drowing in a pool was completely fabricated.
"On Saturday August 23, 2014, 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," Shaw said in a statement released by his lawyer. "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."
"We are extremely disappointed in Josh," head coach Steve Sarkisian said in a school statement. "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.
"I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized. 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 suspended Shaw -- who was named a team captain on Saturday -- indefinitely from all team activities.
Shaw has retained high-powered Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Donald Etra in the matter. He was named in a police report obtained by a website on Tuesday, but was not labeled a suspect in an alleged off-campus break-in.
"He fell off a balcony. We are not discussing any further details at this point," Etra told the Orange County Register. "It is my understanding that there is no further investigation. The reason for that is, nothing criminal happened."
On Monday, USC posted on its team website that Shaw had suffered two high ankle sprains while jumping from a balcony to rescue his nephew from a pool. Doubts about the story began to surface, and Sarkisian and school officials informed the media that they had received phone calls questioning the authenticity of the events after the initial posting.
The school said it regrets publishing the story.
USC opens its season on Saturday against Fresno State at the Coliseum.