Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick held a press conference on Wednesday night to address the latest buzzing story about Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te’o. If you want to read the full context of the story Deadspin has done a great write up on the timeline of events. Many heard about Te’o losing his grandmother and girlfriend in deaths within a few days time, and that inspired Te’o to play harder and made him get the sympathy of many people watching college football.
The truth is that is either the biggest duck in the history of men or he is a clever and deceptive liar and con artist. I believe the latter is more than likely true even though no one wants to believe that about a star linebacker from Notre Dame who was runner up for the Heisman trophy. Te’o is expecting the public to believe he was oblivious to having an online relationship with someone he never met before, and calling themselves a “couple” then finding out later he was “mislead”. Here is an excerpt of his statement to the press:
“This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her.” – ESPN.com
Notre Dame is even backing Te’o as a victim, and furthering the narrative that Te’o is a sucker who was duped. I guess for Te’o the image of him being a fool who fell in love with a fake person who took advantage of his emotions is much better than the truth other story that would be told. That Te’o wanted publicity and orchestrated this elaborate scheme with a friend named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo in order to help him stay in the minds of people on the National stage, but when the media got a hold of hit it spread too fast for him to control. Having this “girlfriend” die around the same time as his grandmother would prevent anyone from questioning him on it, and provided an easy exit plan.
The fact that the actual woman’s photos who were used was asked to take a photo for an old classmate associated with Te’o that showed up on the Twitter account of the fake girlfriend Lennay Kekua pretty much confirms Te’o was in on it. Te’o is being inducted into the Hall of Fail for trying to deceive the nation, and using a fairly dumb ploy to do it. If you want to take Te’o at his word then he is being inducted for being dumb enough to call a person he met online and never met in real life a “girlfriend”. Manti Te’o welcome to the Hall of Fail!
Here is a video of Manti Te’o’s statement to ESPN: