Back in late August, USC defensive back Josh Shaw provided one of the first feel-good stories of the college football season when he reportedly jumped off a balcony during a family get-together to save his 7-year-old nephew from drowning. Only one problem: The story turned out to be a total fabrication. Shaw later admitted that while he did jump off a balcony and sprain both of his ankles in the process, he didn't do it to save anyone. But at the time, he refused to elaborate or come clean about what had really happened.
This week, the Los Angeles Times finally got Shaw to open up and tell them the truth. And as it turns out, Shaw didn't jump off the balcony to help anyone. Instead, he claims he did it because he saw police arrive outside of an apartment building after he got into an argument with his girlfriend Angela Chilton and feared for the worst. So he decided to jump off the balcony to avoid getting into trouble.
"We just got into an argument just like every couple does. Was it loud? Yes. Was it overly loud? I don't think so," he told the Times, before revealing that his girlfriend left the apartment after the fight. "We were not on good terms when she left. I thought she had somebody call authorities. I was thinking the worst. If she did say anything, I'm a black man with dreadlocks, and with everything going on in the country at the time, all that stuff in St. Louis [Ferguson, Mo.]…in my mind, I'm going to leap from the balcony so authorities did not see me."
Shaw then decided not to tell USC the truth when they found out about the ankle injuries he had sustained. He made up the story about saving his nephew and, from there, it snowballed into a national news story before someone called USC and told them what had really happened. He was suspended indefinitely a short time later and hasn't played for USC since, though he may play in a game or two before the end of the season now that he's fully recovered from the injuries he sustained and back to practicing with the team.
You can see what else Shaw had to say here. It's kind of amazing that he didn't think his original story was going to get as big as it eventually did.
[via Eye on Football]