The Josh Shaw picture hasn’t gotten any clearer


Southern California cornerback Josh Shaw’s tale of heroism has come under scrutiny. (Eugene Tanner/Associated Press)

USC’s Josh Shaw started the day something of a national hero for suffering serious ankle injuries while saving his 7-year-old nephew from drowning. Now? It’s hard to say what Shaw is.

Later in the day, Trojans Coach Steve Sarkisian said the school was investigating allegations that contradicted Shaw’s story. A Los Angeles Police Department representative subsequently told the media that a “Joshua Shaw” was mentioned in connection with a break-in at an apartment building located close to USC’s campus, on the same night when Shaw’s injuries occurred.

From an Associated Press report:

In another layer to the confusion, Neiman said LAPD officers answering to a report of a woman screaming in a downtown apartment complex Saturday interviewed a woman inside and several witnesses. USC is on the south end of downtown.

“There is a mention of a Joshua Shaw in this report but not in terms of him being a suspect,” Neiman said. “To make any link at this point would be premature.”

The woman told officers that someone had pried open a window, entered the third-floor apartment and fled, but nothing was taken, he said.

“The victim acknowledged that she had a relationship with a Mr. Shaw,” Neiman added in an email.

A report by USA Today did add an element of corroboration for Shaw:

A woman who identified herself as Shaw’s older sister and the mother of the 7-year-old boy said the USC football player allegedly saved from drowning called reports that Shaw was actually injured during a burglary “speculation.”

“I won’t get involved in that,” said the woman, who identified herself as Asia Shaw and spoke into front of Shaw’s parents’ home in Palmdale. “Those are all speculations.”

Sara Faden, Public Information Officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, said there was a burglary that occurred at 11 p.m. on Aug. 23 at the residence of a woman who identified herself as Josh Shaw’s girlfriend. Faden said witnesses described the burglary suspect as “male, black, with dreadlocks”, but, “The suspect is not Shaw. It happens to be a mutually matching description. No one pointed a finger at him as a suspect.”

Asia Shaw said she was not at the family event during which Josh Shaw allegedly jumped from a balcony when he saw his nephew, Carter, fall into the pool. The boy cannot swim, Asia Shaw said.

She said the child was in the care of another brother, Justin. Though she said she was not at the event, she offered details of what allegedly took place.

“The one who was supposed to be watching him turned away for a second,” she said. “And Josh, who is on the balcony, saw the incident and reacted.”

All in all, it’s a situation that has gotten murky, to say the least, despite the efforts of TMZ (surprise, surprise) to dig up whatever dirt may be in the offing. One thing is for sure: Shaw and USC are enjoying his moment in the national spotlight a whole lot less now than on Monday.

For more on how little we know about what really happened, here’s Fox Sports’s Bruce Feldman:

This former editor and part-time writer at The Post is now happy to prove that if you combine 'blowhard' and 'blaggard,' you get 'blogger.' He previously had used 'Desmond Bieler' as his byline, but feels that shortening the first name to 'Des' nicely conveys his ever-decreasing gravitas. He also covers Fantasy Football.
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