By Eric Wilkins, Assistant Editor
The world of sports often introduces a level of ridiculousness simply with its comically massive salaries. For those instances which are unheard of for other reasons, the Other Press brings you Out of Left Blueline.
The University of Southern California (USC) has been a highly prominent college over the last decade, especially in football. Highly-regarded players have come and gone. Scandals have reigned supreme. And jokes about the Trojans’ O-line providing protection have continued to trend in a sexual direction. The latest bit of news is an instant classic: a tale of a star player who went from a battered and bruised, venerated hero to an unscrupulous glory-seeker in a matter of days.
Josh Shaw is a fifth-year senior at USC. He’s made 21 starts at cornerback over the past two seasons and is highly regarded by many. He was also named one of the squad’s six captains for the upcoming campaign. His plan to frustrate receivers this year hit a roadblock when he picked up two high-ankle sprains. The story of how he was injured was more than worth the slight hiccup in his career though: Shaw’s seven-year-old nephew was reportedly drowning in a pool when the USC captain sprang to action. With no one else around, it was up to the defensive back to make the play, jumping from a second-floor balcony to save his nephew. The resultant landing on the concrete hindered him but Shaw still managed to save the child.
“That was a heroic act by Josh, putting his personal safety aside. But that’s the kind of person he is,” commented head coach Steve Sarkisian afterwards in a release from the school.
He was a role model. An upstanding young man worthy of all the recognition that was being showered upon him. A perfect poster boy for the college.
And then the truth came out.
Through a prepared statement, following some contradictory reports about his moment of bravery, Shaw said, “On Saturday August 23, 2014, I injured myself in a fall. I made up a story about this fall that was untrue. I was wrong to not tell the truth. I apologize to USC for this action on my part.”
The school has since suspended him indefinitely and it’s possible his college career may be over. In an even more bizarre turn of events, rumours have swirled around Shaw’s possible involvement in a burglary which included a suspect jumping from a balcony as well.
The story wraps up an eventful past 12 months for USC which saw three head coaches last season, as well as their athletic director being hospitalized twice this summer. In other news, senior running back Anthony Brown has quit the team and accused Sarkisian of being a racist. Fight on!