No way how you turn the story of Manti Te’o and his fake, dead girlfriend around, it’s hard to see how he was exactly a victim in all of this. All of the camouflage thrown by him and Notre Dame can’t change the facts, which point to one thing: Te’o knew about everything, and can’t scramble out of this one after being caught.
Te’o says he found out that the girlfriend he talked about to get even more attention to himself (as if playing for Notre Dame isn’t enough) on December 6. Lets put aside all the issues of a young man who doesn’t actually have a relationship with someone except through online programs and actually calls her his girlfried; if that was the case, we could believe it. But it isn’t.
According to the school, Te’o found out that Kekua was not a real person through a phone call he received at an awards ceremony in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 6. He told Notre Dame coaches about the situation on Dec. 26.
But there are too many holes in this story. On December 8, during an interview before the Heisman ceremony, Te’o said I mean, I don’t like cancer at all. I lost both my grandparents and my girlfriend to cancer. So I’ve really tried to go to children’s hospitals and see, you know, children.
Two days later, another interview with Te’o ran in the papers, this time in the Los Angeles Times. A lot was made of Te’o playing in that September game against Michigan State. The white roses. It wasn’t enough for him that only his grandmother died.
She made me promise, when it happened, that I would stay and play.
The amazing thing is that all this has come from Deadspin, and not some university probe or even from the NCAA. The university has begun digging into the story, while the higher powers are watching this all unfold through the news.
We’re learning about this through the stories just the same as you are. But we have to wait and see what really transpired there. It’s obviously a very disturbing story and it’s hard to tell where the facts lie at this point. But Notre Dame is obviously looking into it and there will be a lot more to come forward. Right now we don’t know what the facts are, so I shouldn’t comment beyond that.
And maybe this was all a scheme to win the Heisman Trophy? Ability isn’t always enough – you have to sell the story. Te’o’s father seems to be in on the story as well, talking to the press during the cover up days about Lennay Kekua, about her family. Nothing of that was true, but as the fog dissipates, all we’re left with is a young man, who wanted to improve his fame and his chances of finishing his College Football career with a bang, but ended up being caught in one of the weirdest lies anyone could come up with. How does this end for Te’o? Not good.