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USC looking into whether Josh Shaw actually hurt himself saving nephew from drowning

This would be the best way you could possibly injure yourself before your team's season opener. But now USC's story is in question.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sport

UPDATE, Aug. 27: Shaw now admits his story was a lie.

Why he went through the trouble of making up a story that would generate this much attention is rather confusing. Either way, our would-be hero is in fact not a hero. Our apologies for taking the word of the USC athletic department on face value.

Original story below

We've heard about silly sports injuries -- Sammy Sosa hurting himself sneezing, Bill Gramatica's ACL-tearing celebration, Joel Zumaya hurting himself playing Guitar Hero -- but we haven't heard of many heroic sports injuries.

Enter USC cornerback Josh Shaw, a captain who might miss the start of his senior season due to injuries sustained saving his nephew from drowning, according to a story posted by the school:

While attending a family social function at his cousin's apartment in his hometown of Palmdale, Shaw looked on from a second floor balcony to the pool below and saw his 7-year-old nephew, who cannot swim, in distress without help nearby.  Shaw instinctively leaped off the balcony, landing painfully on the concrete below.

He was able to crawl into the pool and ushered his nephew to safety.  Despite the intense pain in his legs, he was then able to grab the ladder and lift himself out of the pool with his upper body.

Shaw said in a statement he would've leapt for any kid, not just his nephew.

Shaw is "out indefinitely," with no official status for Saturday's season opener against Fresno State. He led the team in passes defended and breakups and was second with four picks, one returned for a touchdown, and was third on the team in tackles, so he's a huge part of what USC does defensively.

Of course, that pales in comparison to allegedly saving somebody's life, but, hey, we thought we'd mention the football stuff too.


Update: Head coach Steve Sarkisian says the school is now trying to figure out whether its story was accurate:


Update No. 2: Internet rumors swirled that Shaw may have instead been injured running from police. The Los Angeles Police Department partially debunked that, saying there is no record of an incident but not closing the door completely.