Remember the feel-good story of USC fifth-year senior defensive back Josh Shaw leaping off a second-floor balcony onto concrete and then crawling to a nearby swimming pool so that he could save his 7-year-old nephew from drowning? Yeah, about that. It turns out that may have never really happened.
USC has received several phone calls questioning the authenticity of the story.
According to ESPN, school officials were skeptical of Shaw’s story when they were first told about it, but still ginned up a press release about it.
The incident reportedly took place at a family gathering in Palmdale, California. I grew up in the next town over from Palmdale. The high-desert city is no stranger to the world of weird made-up college football stories. Remember the whole Notre Dame, Manti Te’o dead fake girlfriend controversy? The person who originally perpetrated the hoax, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, is from Palmdale.
So if Josh Shaw didn’t badly sprain both ankles saving a drowning nephew, how did he do it? There’s a police report about a man fitting Shaw’s description “shimmying” down the side of a building near the USC campus. Shaw’s girlfriend lives in the building. This incident happened the same night Shaw was in Palmdale saving his nephew.
College football can be really weird.