Some tales of dashing heroism are entirely true. And some just aren't.
It was game over for USC football player Josh Shaw today after he admitted to lying about how he severely sprained both of his ankles over the weekend.
The senior cornerback, who was also set to be a team captain during the coming season, claimed to have suffered his injuries Saturday night when he jumped from a second-story balcony to save his 7-year-old nephew from drowning. The story—which became a big, huge deal on social media—was first detailed Monday on USC's website, which stated that Shaw had landed on the ground, hurting his ankles, then crawled into the pool to save the child.
"I would do it again for whatever kid it was, it did not have to be my nephew," Shaw told the school. "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."
Yeah...not so much.
Steve Sarkisian, the Trojans' new head coach, told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that campus authorities were looking into Shaw's version of events after "quite a few conflicting stories" about what really happened immediately started making the rounds. The LAPD then disclosed, per the Times, that Shaw's name was on a report filed regarding an incident at a downtown L.A. apartment complex on Saturday night, while the so-called heroics had supposedly occured in Palmdale, Calif.
According to a story posted to the USC Trojans website, Shaw apologized today to Sarkisian, his team mates and school officials. He has been suspended indefinitely from the team. USC said that it "regrets" posting the initial story.
"We are extremely disappointed in Josh," Sarkisian said in a statement. "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."
In a statement released by his attorney, Donald Etra, Shaw said: "On Saturday, August 23, 2014, I injured myself in a fall. I made up a story about this fall that was untrue. I was wrong to not tell the truth. I apologize to USC for this action on my part.
"My USC coaches, the USC Athletic Department, and especially Coach Sarkisian have all been supportive of me during my college career and for that, I am very grateful."
The Trojans open their 2014-15 season this Saturday against Fresno State and are surely looking forward to just getting back to the old ball game.