LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California coach Steve Sarkisian says the school is investigating defensive back Josh Shaw's claim that he injured both of his ankles jumping off a balcony to save his nephew from drowning.
Sarkisian said USC has received several calls contradicting Shaw's story about the circumstances leading to his two high ankle sprains. Shaw's story was told in a detailed post on the Trojans' website Monday hailing the team captain's heroism, but Sarkisian acknowledged USC isn't exactly sure what happened.
"We're looking at it," Sarkisian said after practice Tuesday morning. "Josh is adamant with what occurred, and we'll continue to vet some of the other stories that have come across our desk or across our phones, and see where we can go from there."
Lt. Andy Neiman of the Los Angeles Police Department also said Tuesday afternoon that a man named Joshua Shaw was mentioned — but not as a suspect — in a report involving a Saturday night break-in at a downtown apartment building.
Sarkisian said he had "no history to not believe Josh and his story," but acknowledged the situation was increasingly murky. The first-year USC coach declined to discuss the discrepancies in detail, or the identity of the callers who contradicted the story. Shaw, a fifth-year senior, wasn't made available to reporters, and he didn't return a phone call.
Shaw apparently told the school he was at a family party in Palmdale, California, when he saw his 7-year-old nephew, Carter, struggling in a pool. According to the website post, Shaw jumped from a second-story balcony onto concrete before dragging himself into the pool and rescuing his nephew, who doesn't know how to swim.
Although Shaw's injuries aren't expected to keep him out for the season, Sarkisian still wants to know exactly how they happened.
"I think it's important to know your players," Sarkisian said. "Josh Shaw has been a good leader for us. He's given me no reason not to believe what he has told us that occurred, but we do need to know. I think it's important to know in the direction we're headed."
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