USC in ‘holding pattern’ with Josh Shaw situation


Steve Sarkisian saw a "great" practice from his team Wednesday morning at Howard Jones Field. 

"I don’t know what you guys were doing over here but I saw a heck of a practice," Sarkisian said as he addressed the dozens of media members in attendance. 

There still is a buzz around USC as people look for answers in regards to the Josh Shaw situation.

Earlier in the week, USC reported Shaw suffered two high-ankle sprains while trying to save his seven-year-old nephew from a pool Saturday night. Sarkisian on Tuesday morning said the school received phone calls that conflicted with Shaw’s story. 

Since then, social media has exploded with multiple stories that relate to Shaw and how he might have been hurt. 

Despite the numerous reports, Sarkisian says there’s nothing new to discuss and he’s allowed people above him to deal with the matter. 

"It’s pretty clear there’s quite a few conflicting stories out there. Any information that we’ve been provided up until this point, we’ve pushed along to campus authorities," Sarkisian said. "We’re really going to let it play out in their hands up until this point, and quite honestly we’re in somewhat of a holding pattern, so that’s where we’re at."

The USC head coach is three days away from his first game in his new position, and now all things USC have quickly shifted from "The Return of Sark" to "What’s Going on With Josh Shaw?"

As the program sifts through the information, Sarkisian is trying his best to keep his team focused and not allow what’s surrounding Shaw to be a distraction.

Following Wednesday’s practice, Sarkisian huddled up with the team leaders Cody Kessler, Leonard Williams and Hayes Pullard.

His message was clear: Football. 

"We need to focus on football," Williams said referencing Sarkisian’s message. "None of the players really know the situation going on. He’s basically just telling us to stay focused and don’t let it affect us on Saturday." 

Having survived a number of distractions during his first two years on campus, Williams doesn’t see the Trojans’ current situation as anything different. 

"We’ve had to deal with so much more adversity the past years even before this, so our team has become adjusted to playing through adversity," Williams said. 

Meanwhile Shaw, who became an overnight sensation for what could end up being the wrong reasons, was missing from practice for the second consecutive day. Williams and Pullard have said they are perplexed that Shaw’s name would be linked to such a story.

"Josh Shaw is a pretty loyal guy since he’s been here and I would never expect him to make up a story or something like that," Williams said. "If it’s real or not, just the fact that he’s even in that situation, I would never expect him, as a captain, to be in that situation."