'Rescue' By USC's Josh Shaw Called Into Question

University of Southern California and Los Angeles law enforcement are looking into Shaw's claim that he sprained his ankle rescuing his nephew.

'Rescue' By USC's Josh Shaw Called Into Question
Getty Images

It sounds like a story of unbelievable heroism: University of Southern California cornerback and team captain Josh Shaw suffered two sprained ankles and is out indefinitely after saving his nephew from drowning. 

USC first reported the news. Shaw was attending a family function in Palmdale, Calif. Saturday when he saw his 7-year-old nephew drowning in a pool. According to USC, Shaw "instinctively leaped" from a second-story balcony, landed "painfully on the concrete below" and was able to pull his nephew to safety. 

But that unbelievable story might be just that: an unbelievable story. 

​USC Head Coach Steve Sarkisian"We've gotten a few phone calls contradicting what Josh said occurred Saturday night, so we're going to continue to vet it and we're looking at it." 

Sarkisian didn't elaborate on where those calls came from and ultimately defended Shaw's character, saying he has no reason not to believe his story.

But other reporters have pointed to inconsistent details as reasons to be skeptical.

Scott Wolf for Los Angeles Daily News tweeted that Shaw told USC he jumped from the third story, not the second. Citing unnamed sources, Wolf says the incident didn't happen in Palmdale, didn't involve a family party and didn't involve Shaw's nephew.

TMZ reports neither the Los Angeles County Fire Department nor the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department — both in Palmdale — have any record of an emergency call. One law enforcement official added, "Let me put it to you this way: A drowning or a near drowning is a big deal. And our officials would know about it."

While the original account came from Shaw, at least two reporters say USC is to blame for promoting the story. NFL and college football writer Bryan Fischer said the holes should've made USC pump the brakes and CBS Sports' Chip Patterson calls this "a cautionary tale for schools looking to serve as THE primary outlet for news."

Both USC and local law enforcement are investigating. Shaw has yet to speak publicly about Saturday's incident. 

This video includes images from Getty Images.