USC is investigating the story they publicized Monday about how senior cornerback Josh Shaw injured himself.
Shaw told the school — and the school later reported on their website — that the CB suffered two sprained ankles jumping off a second-floor balcony to save his 7-year-old nephew at a family gathering in his hometown of Palmdale on Saturday night.
Despite having some questions about the story, we wrote about it here at LBS for a few reasons. One, who would lie about a story like that and give a detailed quote about it? Two, why would the school write a story about it complete with quotes from Shaw and head coach Steve Sarkisian if it weren’t true?
Nonetheless, while writing about the story, I had a few questions. Namely, why would someone jump off a balcony onto concrete knowing full well how dangerous that would be, when most apartment complexes generally have stairs that can get you to the bottom floor pretty quickly? Two, if it were a family event, wouldn’t other people have been around the swimming pool? Three, if Shaw were so hurt that he had to crawl into the pool, wouldn’t he have trouble ushering the boy to safety?
Ryan Abraham at USCFootball.com raises additional questions. He adds that Shaw was at a Salute to Troy event Saturday, which means if he traveled to Palmdale afterwards (about 60 miles away), that would have been late at night and the kid would have been at the pool around 10:00 pm. He also notes that there seemed to be an usually small positive reaction from Shaw’s teammates to the heroic story.
Considering some aspects of the story seemed far-fetched, it’s no surprise that USC is investigating the incident after receiving phone calls contradicting Shaw’s account. One rumor is that Shaw jumped off a third story and was involved in an incident involving police in LA, not Palmdale. The LA Daily News’ Scott Wolf says he heard Shaw initially told USC he jumped off a third floor. LBS tried to chase down that rumor and called Palmdale police. They went through their records for Saturday beginning at 2:00 p.m. and did not find any incidents that included Shaw’s name or matched the description of what allegedly happened.
LAPD issued the following statement Tuesday:
“We’ve got no record of us having a run in with him. That’s not to say something didn’t happen. We have no record of anything happening.”