Mystery Surrounding USC Football Star Grows. Is He A Fake Hero?

USC football star Josh Shaw claims sprained his ankles when he saved his nephew from drowning in a pool, but did he really? INSIDE EDITION explains.

Josh Shaw is the football star at the center of a growing mystery. The story started as a heartwarming tale at the beginning of the week.

On Tuesday, Good Morning America reported, “A college football star being hailed a hero and rightly so.” On Wednesday, GMA then said, “New speculation that he made it all up.”

Josh is co-captain of the nationally-ranked USC football team. A few days ago he was interviewed about the upcoming season.

A reporter asked him, "What do you contribute to all of your successes on and off the field?"

He replied, "I think really it is just my upbringing and the people around me."

He became a national hero after saying he sprained both his ankles leaping from a balcony to save his seven-year-old nephew who was drowning in a swimming pool. His nephew, Carter, can't swim.  

Shaw told USC's website that he "instinctively" leaped off the balcony, "landing painfully on the concrete below" and sustained two ankle sprains "which will sideline him indefinitely."

"I would do it again for whatever kid it was, it did not have to be my nephew," he said.

But very quickly, USC coach Steve Sarkisian says the university started receiving several phone calls casting doubt on Josh’s supposed heroism.

Sarkisian said, "There are quite a few conflicting stories out there. The information that we have been provided at this point, we have pushed to campus authorities. We are really going to let it play out in their hands at this point."

The story takes a strange turn when Los Angeles cops say Josh Shaw's name appeared in a police report about an attempted burglary at the apartment building where his girlfriend lives. It happened on the same day he says he saved his nephew. The police report says after hearing the description of the burglar, his girlfriend allegedly said: "That sounds like my boyfriend, Josh Shaw." Josh Shaw has not been named a suspect.

Josh’s sister is standing by him, saying, "My child is safe and it's because of Josh. I really do praise God and I just hope that he has a speedy recovery."

Josh sure seemed to have a bright future. He was even invited to speak at USC's graduation in May, when he said, "We are unique, special and gifted to not only take on the world, but change it."

Now, there are questions swirling around a football star that, until just a few hours ago, looked like a genuine American hero.