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USC to vet football player's rescue story after doubts: coach

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The University of Southern California plans to vet the story of how one of its football players injured himself rescuing a young nephew from a swimming pool after it received calls questioning the account, head coach Steve Sarkisian said on Tuesday.

Josh Shaw, a senior defensive back and team captain, said he suffered two high ankle sprains on Saturday after leaping from a second-floor balcony at an apartment complex in Palmdale, California, to help a 7-year-old nephew who was distressed in a swimming pool.

"Within the last few hours or so, we've gotten a few phone calls contradicting what Josh said occurred Saturday night, so we're going to continue to vet," Sarkisian told reporters.

Shaw, 22, has been hailed by the university and media for his heroism after his story was published on the USC football team's website on Monday.

"Josh is adamant with what occurred, and we'll continue to vet some of the other stories that have come across our desk and our phones and see where we can go from there," said Sarkisian, who is in his first year as the head coach of the Trojans.

A spokesman for USC's athletic department, Tim Tessalone, declined further comment on the vetting process.

Shaw, who will be sidelined indefinitely with the injuries, told USC he crawled to the pool in order to help his nephew and later went to a hospital where he was diagnosed with the high ankle sprains.

"That was a heroic act by Josh, putting his personal safety aside. But that's the kind of person he is," Sarkisian said in a statement on Monday when USC announced Shaw's injuries.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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