How USC Football Star Josh Shaw's Story Unraveled

PHOTO: Josh Shaw watches a news conference for USCs football coach Steve Sarkisian in Los Angeles, Calif. on Dec. 3, 2013.
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Over the last five days, one of captains of the USC football team went from a hero who selflessly hurt himself rescuing a drowning boy to being suspended from the team for lying – and possibly under police investigation.

Josh Shaw, a fifth year senior, had been named a team captain and was considered a leader on the team. He is now suspended indefinitely.

Here is how Shaw went from a hero to a possible suspect:

Saturday, Aug. 23: Shaw was named the football team captain, only to be sidelined indefinitely with injuries to his ankles just hours later.

Sunday, Aug. 24:

The first version of events that emerged came from Shaw, who told USC team website that he seriously injured both of his ankles when he jumped to the ground from a second story balcony to save his drowning 7-year-old nephew who was struggling in a nearby pool.

“I would do it again for whatever kid it was, it did not have to be my nephew,” Shaw told the team. “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.”

PHOTO: Josh Shaw of the USC Trojans intercepts a pass in the end zone that was intended for Davante Adams of the Fresno State Bulldogs during the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 21, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
PHOTO: Josh Shaw of the USC Trojans intercepts a pass in the end zone that was intended for Davante Adams of the Fresno State Bulldogs during the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 21, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

USC coach Steve Sarkisian praised his player.

“That was a heroic act by Josh, putting his personal safety aside,” Sarkisian said according to ESPN. “But that’s the kind of person he is. It is unfortunate that he’ll be sidelined for a while, and we will miss his leadership and play.”

It came out later, however, that a man named Josh Shaw matching the football player’s description was listed in a police report stemming from a disturbance call.

Why Did Josh Shaw Make Up Such an Intricate Lie?

USC Football Captain Josh Shaw Admits Lying About Rescue Story

The Los Angeles Police Department has released a report of a disturbance call that they responded to at 10:40 p.m. Saturday which lists a man named Joshua Shaw as one of the individuals mentioned in the ensuing investigation.

The report, reviewed by ABC News, states that "at approximately 10:40 p.m. PT officers from Central Division responded to a radio call of a screaming woman at the 500 block of North Figueroa."

"After numerous attempts to contact the residents of the apartment, officers feared someone may be in inside and made entry, but no one was home. Officers continued their investigation and noticed the rear window had been pried open. Witnesses described a black male with dreadlocks leaving the apartment balcony,” the report reads. "Officers then later met with a woman who was a resident of the apartment along with her roommates. The female said that her boyfriend was Josh Shaw who is a black male with dreadlocks. Mr. Shaw is listed in the report as the victim’s boyfriend who happened to have a similar description of the suspect leaving the apartment.”

Tuesday, Aug. 26: Coach Sarkasian, who is just entering his first season as the head of the university’s prestigious football program, holds a press conference saying that the team has received calls that dispute Shaw’s version of events.

Sarkisian said USC was still trying to figure out what happened and he turned over the investigation to school officials in an effort to focus on the team’s season opener against Fresno State on Saturday Aug. 30.

“[Character] is a huge deal around here, especially because we're just coming off probation," Sarkasian told The Los Angeles Times following the press conference. The football team had been placed on probation for several years by the NCAA for recruiting violations.

"What I always try to ask myself, was a player's mistake an indication of their character or was it out of line for them? Is this truly who this person is, or did he make a mistake that he's regretful for?”

PHOTO: Steve Sarkisian speaks at a press conference at the John McKay Center at the University of Southern California on Dec. 3, 2013 in Los Angeles, Calif.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
PHOTO: Steve Sarkisian speaks at a press conference at the John McKay Center at the University of Southern California on Dec. 3, 2013 in Los Angeles, Calif.

Wednesday, Aug. 27: USC releases a statement announcing that Shaw told athletic department officials he had lied about how he sustained his ankle injury, saying that he called the pool story “a complete fabrication.”

“We are extremely disappointed in Josh,” Sarkisian said in the 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.”

The school’s statement noted that Shaw has retained criminal defense attorney Donald Etra, though no charges had been filed against him – or against anyone in connection to the Saturday evening disturbance call.

Shaw released a statement that admitted, “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.”

ABC News has learned that Shaw had not been spoken to by police as of Wednesday evening.

LAPD spokesman Lt. Andrew Neiman told The New York Times that the Saturday incident is being treated as a burglary.

“At this point there is no property missing, but we’ll follow up with the victim," Neiman told The New York Times. "Or it may turn out to be a trespass, or domestic violence, or it could be a big nothing, no crime, just people who were arguing and a scream was heard.”

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