The older sister of embattled USC cornerback Josh Shaw told reporters Tuesday night that her brother did indeed injure both ankles jumping from a third-story balcony to save her 7-year-old son from drowning.
Asia Shaw talked to reporters on the steps of her parents’ home in Palmdale, California, where Josh Shaw claimed to have saved his nephew while attending a family party.
Her comments came amid reports that the story of Josh’s heroics was a lie and that he actually hurt himself while running from the police or “shimmying” down a fire escape near his girlfriend’s apartment.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Asia Shaw Said Josh Saw Her Son Drowning & ‘Reacted’
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.
Asia’s comments were the latest twist in a bizarre story that saw Josh Shaw portrayed as the ultimate selfless hero, only to be cast as a liar whose name appeared in a burglary report and who may have been involved in a domestic dispute.
USC coach Steve Sarkisian told reporters Tuesday morning that the university had gotten several calls from people questioning the validity of the drowning story and was in the process of “vetting” the story. The university posted a glowing story on its athletics website Monday about Shaw’s heroics, but said Tuesday Shaw would not speak to the media until the university’s investigation was complete.
2. She Called Reports That Her Brother Was Named in a Burglary Report ‘Speculations’
TMZ reported earlier Tuesday that Shaw’s name appears in a Los Angeles Police Department burglary report and that a man matching Shaw’s description was seen “shimmying” down a fire escape at a building in which Shaw’s girlfriend lives.
Cops had gotten a call from a resident claiming to have seen a suspicious person shimmying down the escape, and Shaw’s girlfriend later told cops that the description of the man matched that of Shaw, TMZ reported.
The site reported that when Shaw talked to cops on the phone he denied even being at the building.
The Los Angeles Daily News’ Scott Wolf reported Tuesday that, according to multiple sources, Shaw’s injuries stemmed from an “incident involving his girlfriend.”
#USC told by multiple sources that Josh Shaw's injury stemmed from an incident involving his girl friend in Los Angeles
— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) August 26, 2014
Asked about the reports Tuesday, Asia Shaw responded: “I won’t get involved in that. Those are all speculations,” according to USA Today.
3. Josh 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.
4. 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.
5. Josh Shaw’s Teammates Recently Elected Him a Captain
Shaw transfered to USC from Florida. At the beginning of August, Shaw was voted one of USC’s captains for the 2014 season. In 2013, he started all 14 of his team’s games. Back in January 2014, Shaw was rumored to be considering entering the NFL draft. According to his official USC profile, Shaw is a sociology major.