University of Southern California cornerback Josh Shaw's story that he was injured while heroically rescuing his young nephew from drowning was false, Shaw admitted Wednesday. The university said it had suspended Shaw indefinitely over what it called his "complete fabrication."
Shaw, a senior co-captain, received national acclaim after he claimed to have saved his 7-year-old nephew when he saw him fall into a pool Saturday night at a social event in Palmdale, California, but USC said in a statement Wednesday that Shaw gave the false story to explain how he had sprained both of his ankles over the weekend.
Neither Shaw nor USC explained why Shaw fabricated the story.
I injured myself in a fall," Shaw said in a statement released by his lawyer. "I made up a story about this fall that was untrue. I was wrong not to tell the truth. I apologize to USC for this action on my part."
"We are extremely disappointed in Josh," USC football coach Steve Sarkisian said. "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."
— M. Alex Johnson