The cover-up is can be worse than the crime. And Southern California cornerback Josh Shaw is far from the first sports figure to spin a bogus story to explain an injury.
Some of the most famous lies in pro sports have involved athletes trying to cover themselves for things they know they shouldn’t be doing. Tough to explain to your bosses paying millions of dollars that you can’t play because you were doing something forbidden under your contract.
USC is sharing some of the blame for publicizing Shaw’s story about injuring his ankles while saving his nephew from drowning. Shaw has admitted the story was a lie, but hasn’t offered an alternative explanation.
Here are some other famous lies from athletes other sports figures:
JEFF KENT, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Kent was an All-Star second baseman and slugger with the San Francisco Giants when he broke his left wrist 2002. He initially said he took a fall off his pickup truck while washing it. But evidence quickly mounted against him, leading the Giants to discover he actually was injured in a motorcycle accident.
Riding a motorcycle was forbidden in Kent’s contract and could have led to the team voiding his deal. He missed most of spring training and the first four games of the regular season.
CLINT BARMES, COLORADO ROCKIES
Barmes was a rookie shortstop in 2005 when he fell and broke his collarbone, touching off a mysterious buzz around baseball following his first explanation that he was carrying a bag of groceries.
Barmes later amended his story to say he was lugging a bag of venison from famed hitter Todd Helton’s ranch, saying he lied because he didn’t want to drag Helton into the mess.
Helton said he and Barmes had been riding four-wheel all-terrain vehicles but that the rides had nothing to do with the injury.
When Barmes was hurt in June, he was hitting .329 and was an NL Rookie of the Year contender. He returned in the last month of the season.
VLADIMIR RADMANOVIC, LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Vladimir Radmanovic, a 6-foot-8 forward, hurt his right shoulder in during the 2007 All-Star break while in Park City, Utah. He said he fell on a patch of ice.
Turns out he was snowboarding, a no-no according to his contract. The lie cost him $500,000, the amount he was fined by the Lakers.
MONTA ELLIS, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
While a member of the Golden State Warriors in 2008, Ellis ripped up his ankle during the offseason.
At first, Ellis told the team he had done it playing pickup basketball back home in Jackson, Mississippi. It turned out that Ellis was actually injured in a low-speed moped accident.
Riding a moped was not allowed under Ellis’ contract. For fibbing to the team, Ellis was suspended 30 games.