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Former USC corner Josh Shaw suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games

Arizona Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw runs drills during training camp in July.
Arizona Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw runs drills during training camp in July.
(Matt York / Associated Press)

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Josh Shaw, a former USC player who got in trouble in college for lying, was suspended indefinitely — and at least through the 2020 season — for betting on NFL games.

Shaw, who has been on injured reserve since August, is accused by the league of placing bets on games on multiple occasions.

It’s against league rules for any NFL employee to bet on NFL games, or to set foot in a sports book at any point during the football season. This was strictly enforced even before the league approved the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, where the team will begin playing next season.

In Shaw’s case, the league conducted an investigation and determined there was no evidence any inside information was used or that any game was compromised. According to the NFL, there was no evidence that any coaches, teammates or other players were aware of Shaw’s betting activity.

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“The continued success of the NFL depends directly on each of us doing everything necessary to safeguard the integrity of the game and the reputations of all who participate in the league,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a written statement. “At the core of this responsibility is the long-standing principle that betting on NFL games, or on any element of a game, puts at risk the integrity of the game, damages public confidence in the NFL, and is forbidden under all circumstances.

“If you work in the NFL in any capacity, you may not bet on NFL football.”

This was not the first time Shaw has been embroiled in a public controversy. Five years ago, before his senior season at USC, he was suspended by the university for lying about how he suffered injuries to both ankles. He originally told the team he was injured after jumping from the second story of an apartment building to save his drowning nephew.

In truth, he was hurt jumping from his balcony to avoid the police, who had been called by a neighbor after hearing a dispute between Shaw and the player’s girlfriend. Police checked into allegations of domestic violence but no charges were filed.

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In terms of the gambling case, Shaw may petition the NFL for reinstatement on or after Feb. 15, 2021. Pursuant to the NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement, he may appeal his suspension by filing notice within three days.

For each of the last two seasons, the NFL has conducted special training on the gambling policy, with more than 10,000 league personnel, including players, coaches, game officials, team medical staffs, gameday assistants, and others. Central to the policy is that betting on NFL games in any form is forbidden, regardless of whether the betting is legal or illegal in a given state.


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