Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 27
USCTrojans.com's Jordan Moore has the latest on Shaw's story:
USC senior cornerback Josh Shaw came to USC athletic department officials this afternoon (Wednesday, Aug. 27) and admitted that he had lied about how he suffered his ankle injuries over the weekend.
He said that the story he told of rescuing his nephew in a pool in Palmdale, Calif., was a complete fabrication. He apologized for misleading his coaches, teammates, athletic department officials and the public.
"We are extremely disappointed in Josh," said USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian. "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."
Sarkisian said that Shaw has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities.
Adam Maya of TrojanSports.com reported on the unfolding saga surrounding Josh Shaw:
TrojanSports.com has confirmed that USC senior cornerback Josh Shaw has been named in a Los Angeles Police Department report. The report details a break-in on Saturday night in which a suspect was witnessed jumping out a three-story balcony.
L.A. Police spokeswoman Liliana Preciado said two Los Angeles police officers responded to a complaint Saturday evening from a resident at the Orsini Apartments alleging that a female in the neighboring room was screaming for help.
Preciado said the officers arrived at Orsini Building One, located on the west side of North Figueroa Street and the home to many USC students, at around 10:40 p.m. She said LAPD got no response after announcing itself and knocking on the door of the third-story unit where the screams reportedly came from.
Witnesses described the suspect. "They saw a black male with dreadlocks leave the apartment from the balcony," Preciado said the police report reads.
Preciado said the officers then broke the door open and searched inside, but no one was there. A female resident who lives in the unit surfaced in the hallway shortly thereafter. She identified Josh Shaw as her boyfriend and said he matched the description of the man witnesses said jumped off the balcony.
Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 26
Josh Shaw's sister has spoken on the incident that occurred with her son and Josh according to Curt Sandoval of ABC 7 in LA:
We have an interview with Josh Shaws sister who confirms Josh saved her son from the pool and was hurt in the process. The story at 5:45— Curt Sandoval (@ABC7Curt) August 26, 2014
The Los Angeles Police Department issued a statement on Shaw following the earlier reports about his story (via Michael Lev of the Orange County Register):
LAPD re Josh Shaw: We have no record of anything involving him. .. Nothing to say. We do have a press conf tonight at 5 on a different case— Michael Lev (@MichaelJLev) August 26, 2014
TMZ reported a different version of events involving Shaw:
Here's the breakdown -- we're told someone called police to report a suspicious person "shimmying" down the side of a building in downtown L.A. near the USC campus. The tipster gave a description of the suspicious person to police.
We're told cops went to the building to investigate -- and spoke to a woman who lived in the building. Cops gave the woman the description of the suspicious person and asked if she had seen anyone who matched the description.
We're told the woman said, "Yes, that sounds like my boyfriend Josh Shaw."
Cops took a "burglary report" -- even though nothing was reported stolen -- and in it, mentioned the connection to Shaw.
Cops later spoke with Shaw on the phone and the USC football player denied ever being at the building.
Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News added:
#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
Bryan Fischer of NFL.com weighed in on the conflicting reports:
TMZ report is somewhat contradicted by LAPD statement FWIW. Palmdale, where Shaw was supposedly at, is about an hour away from campus.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) August 26, 2014
Earlier, Yahoo's Dr. Saturday passed along an update from USC head coach Steve Sarkisian on Shaw:
USC coach Steve Sarkisian says the story of Josh Shaw saving his drowning nephew might be false and will be vetted by the university.— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) August 26, 2014
Chip Patterson of CBSSports.com passed along Sarkisian's comments:
'Josh Shaw, first and foremost, is a good person and a good kid. He came to us with what had occurred Saturday night. I have no reason and no history to not believe Josh and his story of what has occurred," Steve Sarkisian said Tuesday. "Obviously within the last few hours or so we've gotten a few phone calls contradicting what Josh said occurred on Saturday night, so we're going to continue to vet it. We're looking at it, but beyond that I only know what I know.'
Wolf also reported on the incident that injured Shaw:
Sources told me incident did not involve family party or rescuing nephew from pool. #USC investigating claims— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) August 26, 2014
University of Southern California defensive back Josh Shaw was meant to be one of the leaders on the 2014 Trojans team at the dawn of a new era for the program. However, a valiant effort to rescue his seven-year-old nephew resulted in two high ankle sprains, putting his status in question moving forward.
As reported by Jordan Moore of USCTrojans.com, Shaw leaped from a second-story balcony and onto the concrete to save his nephew from drowning in a pool. This incident occurred in Palmdale at a family gathering, hosted by Shaw's cousin.
Despite the risk of perhaps putting the foreseeable future of his football career in jeopardy, Shaw stated that he didn't regret his actions.
"I would do it again for whatever kid it was, it did not have to be my nephew," said Shaw on Monday, per Moore's report. "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."
NFL.com's Bryan Fischer felt Shaw was fortunate with regard to the severity of his diagnosis:
If Josh Shaw jumped from a second story balcony onto concrete, he’s pretty lucky to just have two high ankle sprains.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) August 25, 2014
No matter how much time he spends on the field this season, Shaw's leadership and merited selection as a team captain ought to inspire the Trojans this season.
USC head coach Steve Sarkisian weighed in on Shaw's selfless act, via Moore.
"That was a heroic act by Josh, putting his personal safety aside," Sarkisian said. "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."
New York Giants linebacker and former Trojans player Devon Kennard praised Shaw, too:
What a selfless act by my friend Josh Shaw... Praying for miraculous healing! #FIGHTON— Devon Kennard (@DevonKennard) August 25, 2014
Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com analyzed how Shaw's absence would impact the USC secondary:
Wow, unreal story on Josh Shaw. 5th year senior and captain of the team. Kevon Seymour and Chris Hawkins likely starters at CB now.— Ryan Abraham (@insidetroy) August 25, 2014
Shaw's daring leap should go down as one of the best, most sentimental sports stories in recent memory.
It would have been nice for Sarkisian to have the talented, experienced fifth-year senior on the field to start his maiden season at the helm of the Trojans. However, Shaw made a most commendable sacrifice at the expense of altering his own life in a big way.
The cornerback position has seen USC pit many players in a heated competition, but it will indeed be on starter Kevon Seymour to help step up.
Unfortunately for Seymour, a junior, he was hospitalized for a stomach ailment, per the Los Angeles Times' Gary Klein. That will likely place the burden on redshirt freshman Chris Hawkins to pick up the slack in USC's secondary for the time being.