The story of USC cornerback Josh Shaw jumping off a balcony to save his drowning nephew predictably went viral today. The newly minted senior captain was lauded for sacrificing both of his ankles in an inspiring feat of heroism.
Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian says the school has received multiple calls contradicting Shaw’s brave story and is working to vet all the available information.
As a refresher, here’s the existing narrative:
While attending a family social function at his cousin’s apartment in his hometown of Palmdale, Shaw looked on from a second floor balcony to the pool below and saw his 7-year-old nephew, who cannot swim, in distress without help nearby. Shaw instinctively leaped off the balcony, landing painfully on the concrete below.
He was able to crawl into the pool and ushered his nephew to safety. Despite the intense pain in his legs, he was then able to grab the ladder and lift himself out of the pool with his upper body.
Shaw’s nephew Carter is a bit “traumatized,” but physically okay. Shaw was taken to the hospital and subsequently diagnosed with two high ankle sprains, which will sideline him indefinitely.
“I would do it again for whatever kid it was, it did not have to be my nephew,” Shaw said today. “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.”
The possibility that the whole drowning nephew thing was fabricated and Shaw actually injured himself in another way is quite salacious. It’s hard not to draw a parallel to the Manti Te’o situation which rocked the sporting world in 2012.