SJSU former director sentenced to prison for groping athletes

2 mins read

San Jose State’s former director of sports medicine will serve 24 months in prison after he inappropriately touched female student-athletes, the United States Department of Justice announced Tuesday. 

Scott Shaw was the university’s director of sports medicine and head athletic trainer from 2008 to August 2020. 

According to the DOJ, Shaw admitted to unlawfully touching four female athletes between 2017 and 2020. 

“Scott Shaw was entrusted to care for athletes in the California State University system. Instead, he used his power over female athletes to violate their civil rights by sexually groping them without their consent and without any medical justification,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Robbins for the Northern District of California.

Shaw, who pleaded guilty on August 15, said he touched the victim’s breasts and buttocks without consent or a legitimate medical purpose.

His job entailed treating injuries suffered by SJSU student-athletes, and the athletes allowed and trusted him to touch them because of his role, the DOJ said.

“Shaw’s violation of that relationship is reprehensible, as was reflected in his sentence. I commend the student athletes for their moral courage in coming forward to challenge Shaw. Their bravery prevented Shaw from committing further harm to others, and civil rights violations will continue to be a top priority for the FBI,” said FBI Special Agent In Charge Robert Tripp.

In 2009, Shaw was also accused of touching the breasts of female swimmers and divers underneath their bras during physical therapy sessions. 

However, an investigator in 2010 said that those claims of improper touching were not substantiated because evidence showed Shaw’s method was a “bona fide means of treating muscle injury,” per SJSU.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.