Talking about a University of Southern California football Trojan here. (What were YOU thinking??) He's Josh Shaw, captain of the team, a senior playing cornerback. Until the Saturday before last, that is.
On that night, he suddenly fell ill with a case of double sprained ankles. Now, there is some speculation among sports reporters, college football fans, and police detectives as to how it came that a man who looks just like Shaw was involved in something a little odd. Los Angeles Police Department Cmdr. Andrew Smith said last week that Shaw’s name was "mentioned" in a burglary report in an incident that occurred Saturday night in the 500 block of Figueroa Street, in downtown Los Angeles. But the police pointed out that Shaw, who was named team captain the very day of his injuries, was an acquaintance of the victim, not a person of interest or a suspect.
As the week went on, speculation arose that the entire thing had to do with a domestic dispute between Shaw and his girlfriend, who lives on that block.
So. You're a football star, entering your final year at one of the top schools in the nation, with a chance to earn a diploma that will mean something or a spot on an NFL roster, which will mean moolah and plenty of it. You don't want to do anything to mess that up, but you need a cover story to explain why you're having so much trouble limping, what with two high ankle sprains.
"AH! He said," in a moment that must have looked like a balloon inflating right over his head, "I'll just tell 'em I was in Palmdale, California, and I leaped from a second floor balcony to save my young nephew, who was floundering in a swimming pool."
|Things are just going swimmingly|
You could hardly hear anything in Los Angeles the early part of last week for all the whistles being blown on this fairy tale. But when it came totally unraveled like a cheap pair of socks, Shaw admitted the whole fabrication was a “complete fabrication,” USC's sports information director.
In his statement, Shaw apologized for misleading the team, coaches and the public. The school's football family will accept Shaw’s apology for behavior that was “out of character” for him, head coach Steve Sarkisian said.
“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.”
"I would do it again for whatever kid it was. It didn’t have to be my nephew,” Shaw had said on Monday. “My ankles really hurt, but I am lucky to be surrounded by the best trainers and doctors in the world.”
It might also be a good idea to surround yourself with the best lawyers in the world, Josh.
He has hired one Donald Etra as his mouthpiece, his ambulance chaser, his shyster, and Etra is now telling Shaw to stop saying anything. At all. To anyone.
Has anyone thought to talk to Shaw's nephew, supposed near-drowning victim?