This nonsense story about Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te’o and his girlfriend which never really existed is a story which seems too ridiculous to believe. He got emotionally involved with this girl online, but never met her. He just saw pictures of a woman, whom he thought was her.
At the same time he said she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met.
Later on he was made aware that she was sick and in the hospital. He was later told that she got in a horrific automobile accident. Later he was told she had died of leukemia. This was around the same time when his grandmother died. It seemed to be a classic heartbreaking story that would be made into a movie one day.
All-American Notre Dame middle linebacker and possible Heisman Trophy winner suffers his grandmother and girlfriend dying at the same time and it motivates him to lead Notre Dame to heroics on the football field.
I can’t say I know whether he was part of the hoax and whether he was duped by others, but regardless of what the truth is, I don’t think it’s a career killer. He should come clean right now about everything right now and I think he’ll be able to put it behind him.
Many times young college players who become national stars overnight aren’t ready to deal with stardom on that level and need to be protected. It sounds like this Te’o got duped by somebody online and then he played along with it to a degree.
We all have done stupid things while growing up, but it hasn’t been in front of the nation. Those videos on ESPN of him talking about this girl, who doesn’t exist, look very bad. Still, I wouldn’t hold it against him if I were running a team’s draft. Hopefully, he’ll be able to learn from it and get past it.
On the other hand, the Notre Dame public relations office should have been on top of this story, once it went national. The Fighting Irish should have investigated this lady, whom Te’o had never met. Once they saw it was shakey, they should have encouraged Te’o to put an end to it.
Jack Swarbrick, the Notre Dame Athletic Director shouldn’t be on television crying about this incident. It doesn’t look good and combined with this story makes the Notre Dame athletic department seem unstable. Here you have a “make believe” girlfriend and a “make believe” story, plus the Notre Dame Athletic Director crying on national television about the whole thing.