USC announced Wednesday afternoon that it had suspended star cornerback Josh Shaw after Shaw admitted to team officials that the heroic story he told about spraining both ankles while saving his 7-year-old nephew from drowning was a lie.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Shaw May Have Been Running From Cops & Jumped Out a Window
Sources: Josh Shaw was involved in an incident involving domestic abuse & jumped off a 3rd story window while running from LAPD. #USC
— Heather Brittany (@HeatherBrit) August 26, 2014
TMZ reported later that LAPD had been called to a home in Palmdale with reports of a man “shimmying” down the building. When cops asked the woman about the “shimmier,” she reportedly said, “Yes, that sounds like my boyfriend Josh Shaw.”
2. There Was No 911 Call About an Injury or Near-Drowning at the Home
TMZ reports both L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. and the L.A. County Fire Dept saying they never received any call relating to Shaw or his nephew. The party had been taking place in Shaw’s hometown of Palmdale, California.
If Shaw’s story was false, it seems like there are two possibilities here, either USC knew the story was false and it was part of some coverup or they believed the story and ran with it without checking any of it out first.
3. Coach Steve Sarkisian Said USC Was Getting Calls Contradicting Shaw’s Story
Shaw’s coach, Steve Sarkisian, had earlier said that USC had gotten numerous calls telling them that Shaw was lying. Speaking to the media on August 26, Sarkisian said, “He came to us with what had occurred Saturday night. I have no reason, no history, to not believe Josh and his story with what has occurred.” Just 24 hours previously, Sarkisian had said:
That was a heroic act by Josh, putting his personal safety aside. But that’s the kind of person he is. It is unfortunate that he’ll be sidelined for a while and we will miss his leadership and play, but I know he’ll be working hard to get back on the field as soon as possible.
ESPN reports that Shaw would not be making any media appearances until the issue was resolved. The network also states that Shaw suffered a pair of sprained ankles. Steve Sarkisian said: “I will say the X-rays and MRIs we have taken on him have come back negative. So far we don’t see anything structurally wrong with him but he is very sore.”
4. Shaw Has Said His Nephew Was ‘Traumatized’
There were red flags early. USC saying Shaw wouldn't talk, family wouldn't talk and Sark wouldn't talk about it until after foootball q's.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) August 26, 2014
Shaw had said that his nephew had been “traumatized” by the incident because the youngster can’t swim, according to an interview he gave with the USC Athletics website. He added:
My ankles really hurt, but I am lucky to be surrounded by the best trainers and doctors in the world. I am taking my rehab one day at a time, and I hope to be back on the field as soon as possible.
One commenter on the story, a former professor at USC, Maurice B. Goudzwaard Ph.D, said:
Josh Shaw is a real man and a real hero. I don’t need to know anymore about him to know who he is.
5. Shaw’s Sister Told Reporters That His Verion of the Story Is True
Shaw’s older sister Asia told reporters Tuesday that her brother’s version of the story is true.
Asia Shaw talked to reporters on the steps of her parents’ home in Palmdale, California, where Josh Shaw claimed to have saved his nephew.
Asia Shaw told USA Today her brother Justin was supposed to be watching her son Carter, but had turned away when Carter fell into a pool.
Josh Shaw then “saw the incident and reacted,” she told reporters.
Asked about the reports Tuesday that Josh Shaw may have been involved in a burglary, Asia Shaw responded: “I won’t get involved in that. Those are all speculations,” according to USA Today.