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August 26, 2014
'It's going to suck for us'
USC is investigating the circumstances surrounding cornerback Josh Shaw's injury. Shaw told Coach Steve Sarkisian over the weekend he sprained both his ankles while saving his 7-year-old nephew from drowning on Saturday night.
Sarkisian said he's since received phones calls contradicting Shaw's explanation for his injury. Sarkisian would not say who had contacted him refuting the initial story.
"I have no reason, no history to not believe Josh and his story and what has occurred," Sarkisian said. "We're going to continue to vet it. ... Josh is adamant with what occurred and we'll continue to vet some of the stories that have come across our desk and across our phones and see where we can go from there."
USC's official team site posted an article Monday reporting that Shaw was at a "family social function" at his cousin's apartment in Palmdale when he saw his nephew drowning. Shaw then reportedly jumped off a second-story balcony and landed on concrete, but managed to crawl into the pool and save his nephew.
Shaw on Saturday attended "Salute To Troy," an annual season kickoff event including the players' families, where he was announced as a team captain. The function concluded around 9-9:30 p.m. Palmdale is a 65-mile drive from USC, bringing into question Shaw's story about a family function at such a late hour and a child swimming unattended.
Shaw was supposed to speak with the media Tuesday, but Sarkisian later said the redshirt senior would not be available until the school had more answers. Shaw did not attend practice.
"I just don't want to put him in a situation, answer questions that we really don't have all the answers to," Sarkisian said.
An anonymous USC player, and the parent of another player, both refuted the drowning story, saying they heard that Shaw injured himself during a "domestic" incident. The hero narrative spread across the nation Monday evening, but now it is unclear whether it is true.
"It sucks," the player said of the situation. "It's going to suck for us."
Sarkisian said he is determined to find out the truth regarding Shaw.
"I think it's important to know your team," he said. "I think it's important to know your players. Like I said, Josh Shaw has been a good leader for us. He's given me no reason not to believe what he has told us that occurred. But you need to know, and I think it's important to know and the direction that we head in."
A source who spoke with Shaw on Monday afternoon said Shaw told him he would be out about four weeks. Shaw, who is from Palmdale, spent his first two seasons at Florida before transferring to USC.