Injured USC Football Star Suspended After Lying About Drowning Rescue
A University of Southern California (USC) football player made headlines over the weekend with a feel-good story about how he jumped from a second-floor balcony to save his drowning nephew from a swimming pool. After some conflicting accounts emerged about the incident, Shaw admitted he made up the story about how he sustained two sprained ankles.
Shaw has now been suspended indefinitely by the team while the school has not said how Shaw actually sustained the injuries. Shaw hired a defense attorney yesterday, while releasing this statement:
"I made up a story about this fall that was untrue," Shaw said. "I was wrong not to tell the truth. I apologize to USC for this action on my part. My USC coaches, The USC Athletic Department, and especially coach Sarkisian have all been supportive of me during my college career and for that, I am very grateful."
The initial story of alleged heroism quickly spread across the web and to national news outlets, after appearing on the school's website.
Shaw, a cornerback and team captain for the Trojans, was expected to be out of action for at least a few weeks as the team prepares for its season-opener on Saturday.
According to reports, there was no 911 call made about the alleged near-drowning, and the school began receiving calls disputing Shaw's story about rescuing the 7-year-old boy.
Shaw's attorney claims his client fell from an apartment balcony during a family gathering.
However, The Los Angeles Times reported that police responded the same night to reports of a woman screaming at an apartment complex about 60 minutes from Shaw's family function. The police, according to the report, talked to one woman at the complex who saw a man run across a balcony and provided a description.
Another woman at the complex was told about the man on the balcony, and said, "Sounds like my boyfriend, Josh Shaw," according to a report cited by an LAPD spokesman. Though the name was mentioned, the person was never named a suspect, police said.
"There is a mention of a Joshua Shaw in this report but not in terms of him being a suspect," a police spokesman said. "To make any link at this point would be premature."