“Hero” USC Football Player Who Jumped Off Balcony to Save Drowning Kid Was Actually Lying
Earlier this week, news broke out of USC that senior cornerback Josh Shaw severely sprained both his ankles after leaping from a second story balcony to save his young nephew from drowning in an apartment complex pool at a family function. He was lauded as a hero. The NFL even posted an since-deleted Instagram photo with Shaw's quote: "I would do it again for whatever kid it was, it did not have to be my nephew."
Soon, though, the pieces to Shaw's story began to crumble. For whatever reason — be it fear of losing his scholarship, fear of the legal system or otherwise — Shaw lied about the entire story. It never happened. Theories ranging from a domestic violence dispute to a frat party have surfaced, but we may never know exactly what did happen. It seems clear, though, that Josh Shaw did not save a drowning child, nor is he a hero.
Why Shaw had to make up this elaborate story and not just go with something like "I hurt my ankles playing pickup basketball" as his explanation, we do not know. It seems pretty messed up to claim you saved a drowning kid if you were really just running from the cops. And even worse to say stuff like "I would do it again for whatever kid it was, it did not have to be my nephew."
More details on the matter from USC's perspective, from ESPN:
USC senior cornerback Josh Shaw has admitted to lying about how he suffered his ankle injuries last weekend and has been suspended indefinitely, the school said in a statement Wednesday.
Shaw said he suffered a pair of high ankle sprains Saturday night after jumping from the second story of an apartment complex to save his 7-year-old nephew, who was struggling in the pool. Shaw said his nephew did not know how to swim. He admitted to team officials on Wednesday that the story was a complete fabrication.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian said Tuesday the school received several calls questioning the authenticity of Shaw's story and had been investigating the matter.
"We are extremely disappointed in Josh," Sarkisian said in the 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."
The school did not specify in its statement how Shaw actually sustained his injuries. Shortly after USC issued its statement, Shaw's attorney released his own statement in which Shaw said he injured himself "in a fall."
There's also this little nugget, which would seem to suggest that Shaw was simply being a dumb college kid. No hero, but also no criminal:
A source told ESPNLA.com that witnesses told police an individual matching Shaw's description was seen jumping off of a three-story balcony at the Orsini Apartments near USC's campus where Shaw's girlfriend lives.
Shaw has been suspended indefinitely by USC, a sad end to a bizarre story — one which we may never understand completely.