USC coach Steve Sarkisian said Tuesday that he's received several calls questioning the validity of cornerback Josh Shaw's story describing how he sustained two high ankle sprains over the weekend. The school is vetting the tale.
Shaw told USC's athletics web site that he injured himself jumping from a second-floor apartment balcony to the concrete below to rescue his seven-year-old nephew, who "cannot swim" and was in a pool "in distress without help nearby" on Saturday. Shaw said he rescued his nephew, who was traumatized by the experience.
Now, USC is investigating the authenticity of the story.
"I'm going to refrain from talking about the situation itself," Sarkisian said on Tuesday's Pac-12 coaches' teleconference. "I will say that Josh had never given us any indication not to believe his story. He's been a kid of very high character for us, a team leader, elected team captain. I had no reason not to believe him.
"Now, we did receive some calls that question the validity of his story. We're vetting. We're doing our due diligence on that as we speak."
Sarkisian said that Shaw has not changed his story since the questions emerged. According to Shaw, the incident occurred at a family social function at Shaw's cousin's apartment in his hometown of Palmdale, Calif.
Deputy Jason Ames of the Palmdale Sheriff Station said that there was no record of a call out regarding Shaw.
Officer Jane Kim, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department said the department is gathering information but had no statement as of Tuesday afternoon.
"Josh is adamant with what occurred, and we're going to continue to vet some of the stories that have come across our desk or our phones and see what we have and go from there," Sarkisian told local media earlier Tuesday.
Sarkisian said he and other athletic officials need more time to vet the situation. Shaw, a senior, was chosen a USC team captain on Saturday night.
"It's important to know your players," Sarkisian said. "Josh Shaw has been a good leader for us. he's given me no reason to not believe what he told us occurred. But you need to know."
Contributing: Tess Quinlan