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Notre Dame: Manti Te’o victim of a hoax

Michigan v Notre Dame Getty Images

There are bizarre stories, then there’s, well, this.

Back in mid-September it was reported that the grandmother and girlfriend of Notre Dame All-American Manti Te’o had died within hours of each other, the latter (Lennay Kekua) after a courageous battle with leukemia.  As the Irish continued what would be a stunning run to the BCS championship game, Te’o’s triumph over personal tragedy became an inspirational theme woven into the fabric of the 2012 college football season.

It was by all accounts heartbreaking and inspirational and, according to Deadspin.com, it was also a lie.

In a lengthy piece published by the website Tuesday, Deadspin declares that “Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax.”  While it would be impossible to even begin to summarize the baffling story, this paragraph fairly encapsulates what the website is claiming:

There was no Lennay Kekua. Lennay Kekua did not meet Manti Te’o after the Stanford game in 2009. Lennay Kekua did not attend Stanford. Lennay Kekua never visited Manti Te’o in Hawaii. Lennay Kekua was not in a car accident. Lennay Kekua did not talk to Manti Te’o every night on the telephone. She was not diagnosed with cancer, did not spend time in the hospital, did not engage in a lengthy battle with leukemia. She never had a bone marrow transplant. She was not released from the hospital on Sept. 10, nor did Brian Te’o congratulate her for this over the telephone. She did not insist that Manti Te’o play in the Michigan State or Michigan games, and did not request he send white flowers to her funeral. Her favorite color was not white. Her brother, Koa, did not inform Manti Te’o that she was dead. Koa did not exist. Her funeral did not take place in Carson, Calif., and her casket was not closed at 9 a.m. exactly. She was not laid to rest.

It’s a fascinatingly disturbing read, and we strongly urge you to plow through the lengthy piece in its entirety HERE.  It’s not, however, the end of the story.  Far from it, in fact.

In response to Deadspin‘s story, Notre Dame released a statement claiming that, in essence, Te’o was the victim of a hoax:

On Dec. 26, Notre Dame coaches were informed by Manti Te’o and his parents that Manti had been the victim of what appears to be a hoax in which someone using the fictitious name Lennay Kekua apparently ingratiated herself with Manti and then conspired with others to lead him to believe she had tragically died of leukemia. The University immediately initiated an investigation to assist Manti and his family in discovering the motive for and nature of this hoax. While the proper authorities will continue to investigate this troubling matter, this appears to be, at a minimum, a sad and very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators.

Te’o has not issued a statement on the story, which is rapidly becoming one of the most baffling and head-scratching stories of the year.

UPDATED 6:32 p.m. ET: Subsequent to the initial posting, Te’o has released a statement addressing this situation as well.  Here it is, in its entirety.

“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.

“To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.

“It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of my grandmother’s death in September were in any way deepened by what I believed to be another significant loss in my life.

“I am enormously grateful for the support of my family, friends and Notre Dame fans throughout this year. To think that I shared with them my happiness about my relationship and details that I thought to be true about her just makes me sick. I hope that people can understand how trying and confusing this whole experience has been.

“In retrospect, I obviously should have been much more cautious. If anything good comes of this, I hope it is that others will be far more guarded when they engage with people online than I was.

“Fortunately, I have many wonderful things in my life, and I’m looking forward to putting this painful experience behind me as I focus on preparing for the NFL Draft.”

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151 Responses to “Notre Dame: Manti Te’o victim of a hoax”
  1. fitz66 says: Jan 16, 2013 6:31 PM

    So he wasn’t whiffing tackles against Alabama…he was hugging his girlfriend.

    But seriously, thanks ND. Now I know I wasn’t the only person making up stories about having girlfriends in college.

  2. scalpemseminoles says: Jan 16, 2013 6:31 PM

    Has not issued*

    Sorry, grammar Nazi.

  3. udub says: Jan 16, 2013 6:33 PM

    How do you know he is a victim and not an accomplice? Just because he issued a statement. Lance Armstrong issued a lot of statements in his day.

  4. amflanagan1 says: Jan 16, 2013 6:33 PM

    Just goes to show you money can buy you a lot of stuff if you are a superstar at Notre Dame. What a joke of a school.

  5. ebrownwareagle says: Jan 16, 2013 6:35 PM

    Horse Pooo!! T’eo was part of it the ENTIRE TIME!! Now THAT IS what you cal CHARACTER ISSUES!! To think guys Like Jarvis Jones missed out on awards because the Media sensationalized this Dude and wHat he supposedly was going thru!!

  6. boondocksaint7 says: Jan 16, 2013 6:35 PM

    He is either the shadiest person on earth or the stupidest!

  7. spudvol says: Jan 16, 2013 6:35 PM

    So Te’o’s girlfriend was his male cousin. Hmmm…

  8. hbegley6672 says: Jan 16, 2013 6:35 PM

    He said he met her… Several times… Explain that or we can’t believe you

  9. mdac1012 says: Jan 16, 2013 6:37 PM

    The biggest hoax perpetrated was that Manti Te’o was a Heisman finalist.

  10. spudvol says: Jan 16, 2013 6:38 PM

    Jason McIntyre ‏@TheBigLead

    Confirmed from 2 sources: ESPN has known about the Manti Te’o story for 10 days. Had been reporting it, but could not confirm.

  11. capone2510 says: Jan 16, 2013 6:38 PM

    Oh baby, he’s screwed!!!!!!

  12. dxa5053 says: Jan 16, 2013 6:39 PM

    He said they met after a football game. So he only lied about how they met now? .. Come on, no one is buying that he was the victim.

  13. canetic says: Jan 16, 2013 6:40 PM

    He said before that he visited her in the hospital and in Hawaii. Ooops.

  14. amflanagan1 says: Jan 16, 2013 6:40 PM

    A lot of money can buy a fake beautiful girlfriend.

  15. yelix says: Jan 16, 2013 6:41 PM

    This is confusing. The Tribune said he met her in person at some point. If Te’o himself told reporters that he met her in person, he knew about the hoax, because you obviously can’t meet someone who never existed.

  16. sadskinsfan89 says: Jan 16, 2013 6:42 PM

    u got it all wrong. HE IS THE HOAX. Cant u see he did this? its so obvious. he had everything to do with this. all to gain pub for heisman

  17. fox6117 says: Jan 16, 2013 6:42 PM

    This brings into question all of the other fiction that makes Notre Dame the legendary program everybody thinks it is. What a joke.

  18. thebigcaptain2011 says: Jan 16, 2013 6:43 PM

    Why did he say originally that he met her in person if he met her online?
    You are telling me that the captain of the football team resorted to meeting a girl online? Aren’t there plenty of girls he could have met in the physical in college? He was a part of this. Don’t buy his BS. He perpetuated this story for attention. Why wouldn’t he go to the funeral? Why did he say he met her at Stanford when he realky didn’t. Learn from Lance. Stop the lies now before you become even more of a social pariah.

  19. ken49ers says: Jan 16, 2013 6:46 PM

    The poor guy got catfished….

  20. loanraven says: Jan 16, 2013 6:48 PM

    Catfish

  21. pricecube says: Jan 16, 2013 6:49 PM

    How did it take six months to find out that his “cancer girlfriend” did not exist?

  22. madtownthrowdown says: Jan 16, 2013 6:50 PM

    I’m no genius but I’m pretty sure that being a top player on the Notre Dame football team in itself can get you a pretty hot girlfriend. When I was in college we actually wanted to meet women. Not just make them up. Surely even the “Catholics” enjoy a good walk of shame now and again.

  23. be4bama says: Jan 16, 2013 6:53 PM

    And to think I felt sorry for him when he didn’t win the Heisman…. Geez

  24. pricecube says: Jan 16, 2013 6:53 PM

    Catfish is right … Manti’s story is about as believable as that hoax of a documentary. There is no way he was not in on this. Continuing to portray himself as the victim is disgusting.

  25. geraldthecat says: Jan 16, 2013 6:53 PM

    The sound of falling draft stock

  26. madtownthrowdown says: Jan 16, 2013 6:54 PM

    Or perhaps this is how a nice college boy maintains his virginity through college.

  27. joebone says: Jan 16, 2013 6:54 PM

    A cheap gimmick to boost his Heisman stock. Classy.

  28. Deb says: Jan 16, 2013 6:57 PM

    He’s not a victim of anything. He and his family–who helped sell this hoax–victimized Notre Dame and its fans with this sick attempt to win a sympathy Heisman. And the national reporters–SI, ESPN, CBS … seriously??? … “covering” this dying girlfriend nonsense should be fired for not so much as picking up a phone to call a hospital before running with this desperate tale.

    I don’t care how many tackles he made. An NFL personnel director would be insane to gamble on this nut. No team needs this brand of trouble.

  29. giablommi says: Jan 16, 2013 6:57 PM

    A lot more questions than answers on this one. The official story of a “hoax” sounds a little disingenuous to me though. Just wow.

  30. be4bama says: Jan 16, 2013 6:57 PM

    That’s exactly what I just told my husband Joe.

  31. fox6117 says: Jan 16, 2013 6:58 PM

    He has an easy out here folks: he’s going to claim to be gay and he made this girlfriend up to avoid being blackballed by the Heisman voters and NFL teams… that are clearly anti-gay.

    He’ll become the ultimate victim having to make up something so outrageous because college and professional sports don’t accept gay players. He’ll get the support of the gay community and will be the first ever openly gay NFL player.

  32. cometkazie says: Jan 16, 2013 6:59 PM

    This happened at Notre Dame?

    Naaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwww!

    They have nothing but fine, upstanding, moral students there. That’s the claim, at least.

    Splain this now . . .

  33. be4bama says: Jan 16, 2013 7:00 PM

    I hope his “people” keep him away from guns or any other weapons. This wacko just might snap!!

  34. be4bama says: Jan 16, 2013 7:02 PM

    Wow Fox that’s a good one!!!

  35. thegamecocker says: Jan 16, 2013 7:02 PM

    MANTI TE’O IS TO TAWANNA BRAWLEY

    AS NOTRE DAME AND ITS PR MACHINE ARE TO REV AL SHARPTON.

    Te’o’s integrity is now in question. He played the sympathy card. This has “cover-up” all over it. The Golden Domers are not “holier than thou”! No different than any other liar and cheat. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce the next Paul Hornung, Mr. Manti Te’o…….

  36. mayerobeyer says: Jan 16, 2013 7:02 PM

    I may be in the minority here…but if my girlfriend died I would want to go to the funeral.

    He’s either the worst boyfriend in the world or he’s a liar. If I’m an NFL team, this is raising big time red flags for this kid.

  37. cometkazie says: Jan 16, 2013 7:09 PM

    thegamecocker says:
    Jan 16, 2013 7:02 PM
    MANTI TE’O IS TO TAWANNA BRAWLEY
    +-+-+

    TGC, I am shocked you would say that.

    I was trying to think of something along those lines and you did much better than I could ever do.

    This breaking story will be entertaining to follow.

  38. stoutfiles says: Jan 16, 2013 7:12 PM

    Nov. 28, 2009: Te’o and Kekua meet after Stanford’s 45-38 victory over Notre Dame in Palo Alto, according to the South Bend Tribune: “Their stares got pleasantly tangled, then Manti Te’o extended his hand to the stranger with a warm smile and soulful eyes.” Kekua, a Stanford student, swaps phone numbers with Te’o.

    2010-2011: Te’o and Kekua are friends. “She was gifted in music, multi-lingual, had dreams grounded in reality and the talent to catch up to them” (South Bend Tribune). “They started out as just friends,” Te’o’s father, Brian, told the Tribune in October 2012. “Every once in a while, she would travel to Hawaii, and that happened to be the time Manti was home, so he would meet with her there.”

    Teo was in on it. Why he made it up, well I’m sure everyone here can figure that one out.

  39. lrg51 says: Jan 16, 2013 7:12 PM

    Incredibly embarrassing? Hmmm… I’m thinking that is a serious understatement.

  40. seamus0317 says: Jan 16, 2013 7:13 PM

    He has to be in on it. No one can possibly be that frickin’ STUPID! He just destroyed Notre Dame! The haters will feed on this forever! Lance Armstrong is a happy man tonight!!!!!

  41. jdd428 says: Jan 16, 2013 7:13 PM

    This whole thing should have been seen as a hoax from the outset, just through the supposed timeline.

    They “met” at a Stanford-ND game in ’09 (or they didn’t, they just met online as his new lie says). They started dating in early ’12, she had her car accident sometime in the spring – only then did doctors discover her leukemia. She almost instantly has a bone marrow transplant (no waiting, no prolonged search for a suitable match?) and is released from the hospital on Sept. 10, but then within two days she dies hours before (or after, various reports have claimed both) his grandmother.

    Bottom line, he’s a fully involved conspirator and not a victim. But the media – until now – somehow missed the obvious holes in the story.

  42. atxcane says: Jan 16, 2013 7:15 PM

    This was more than a hoax, there was professional detail in creating this ‘reality’.

    A PR firm is behind this IMO. Which means someone fronted good money. Short list: ND, ESPN.

  43. seacab1972 says: Jan 16, 2013 7:16 PM

    I think that MTV Catfish show is involved. :)

  44. mayerobeyer says: Jan 16, 2013 7:18 PM

    Also apparently a pathological liar…and apparently so are his parents….

  45. thegamecocker says: Jan 16, 2013 7:19 PM

    @COMETKAZIE

    You are welcome! The pretentious bloggers known as the Golden Domers are NOW truly getting what they deserve! They constanly belittle Southern colleges and universities with their holier than thou attitude! Not letting go of this one for awhile….and the MEDIA should also be ashamed for not flushing this out much sooner!!!

  46. madtownthrowdown says: Jan 16, 2013 7:21 PM

    Regardless of if the guy lied or not, the fact of the matter is this won’t hurt his draft stock much. He is worth taking a shot at. If this guy isn’t worth drafting then guys like Pryor, Dez Bryant, Jamarcus Russell, and probably Tyron Matheiu (this year of course) wouldn’t ever have been drafted or signed.

  47. mayerobeyer says: Jan 16, 2013 7:23 PM

    It’ll absolutely hurt his draft stock. If you are drafting this kid it’s because you think he can be the leader of your defense…you better be absolutely sure you can trust him.

  48. surly1n1nd1anapol1s says: Jan 16, 2013 7:26 PM

    Thanks for posting this disgraceful story on this NBC sports sponsored blog. But where is the coverage in the NBC sports “Inside the Irish” blog? Or does that violate some corporate rule of harming the parent company’s corporate interests?

  49. normtide says: Jan 16, 2013 7:27 PM

    He should talk to AJ from Bama, now that’s a dude that knows how to get a woman. But seriously, this is crazy. The emotional leader of his team, and he had absolutely no integrity. If this was a hoax played on him, and I really doubt that, then he should not have let carry on in the media after he found the truth. I don’t know all the facts, but here is what I think. He was playing a sympathy angle. He would not have been a Heisman finalist on his numbers alone. Like most lies, it spiraled out of control.

    To me, the most damning part to his character is this: he allowed the fake death of his fake girlfriend to overshadow the death of his grandmother.

  50. surly1n1nd1anapol1s says: Jan 16, 2013 7:28 PM

    Even moe fabulous in that Deadspin uncovered this. Frequently targeted as a gossip and rumor site….unlike “legitimate” news organizations.

    Please tell me that fool Buzz Bissinger gets pantsed again this week!

  51. Deb says: Jan 16, 2013 7:30 PM

    @thegamecocker …

    Tawana Brawley! Omigosh, you had me ROFLOL!

    But the powers at Notre Dame just heard all this and are trying to catch their breath. If they have the good sense to denounce him, they can still save face.

  52. harvupdyke says: Jan 16, 2013 7:31 PM

    How about the massacre in Miamah? That was no hoax, 42-14.

    Roll dam tide.

  53. goodfieldnohit says: Jan 16, 2013 7:32 PM

    Manti likes it best in the imaginary position

  54. goodfieldnohit says: Jan 16, 2013 7:33 PM

    The SEC, where championships and girlfriends are real.

  55. be4bama says: Jan 16, 2013 7:35 PM

    I bet Lou Holtz is about to have a heart attack!!!

  56. lowtalker says: Jan 16, 2013 7:36 PM

    capone2510 says : “He’s screwed” . . .

    only in his imagination.

  57. be4bama says: Jan 16, 2013 7:37 PM

    Just wait till TMZ gets a hold of this.

  58. goodfieldnohit says: Jan 16, 2013 7:37 PM

    What I’d like to know is how did no one in the media ever try to vet this dead girl story? I’m looking at you John Taylor, Ben Kercheval, Florio, everyone at ESPN and CBS Sports. You sorry excuse for journalists just shoved this story down our collective throats, because it was such a sweet heart wrenching display of courage.

    All the while, every one of you get your panties in a wad over Johnny Manziel holding a bottle of champagne or fanning a bunch of money he won in a casino.

    Seriously, all of the media should just turn in their journalist cards and should go wait tables for the rest of their lives.

  59. bigmeechy74 says: Jan 16, 2013 7:47 PM

    If anyone can successfully cover this up, it’s the Catholics.

  60. noring4youstill says: Jan 16, 2013 7:47 PM

    Ha Ha

  61. classyjacklambert says: Jan 16, 2013 7:54 PM

    wtf.

  62. massivedick says: Jan 16, 2013 7:54 PM

    like the hypocritical catholic religion, pedophile priests and confession … manti te’o fits into norte dame’s total scam of the public just perfectly.

  63. rickrock6661982 says: Jan 16, 2013 7:56 PM

    Notre Shame: The rise and fall of the 2012 Fighting Irish

  64. Deb says: Jan 16, 2013 7:57 PM

    @goodfieldnohit …

    You are absolutely right about the reporterd from SI, ESPN, CBS, etc., that covered the “tragic” story of Te’o and his … a-hem … girlfriend. Calling the hospital to check on her status is journalism 101. But John Taylor and Ben Kercheval are not reporters. They are bloggers who provide commentary on college football. They’re not sourcing original stories. In other words … that’s not their job.

  65. acieu says: Jan 16, 2013 8:07 PM

    Loved the ” SEC where Championships and girlfriends are real” as well as the Imagination Position. Great stuff. North Americans are great sympathizer for five minutes then roll out the humor. Keep the one liners coming.

  66. goodfieldnohit says: Jan 16, 2013 8:08 PM

    @Deb – At some point isn’t it time to grow up and move from blogger to journalist, especially when you have the weight of NBC behind you?

    The deadspin guys? They are grown ups, and damned fine journalists.

  67. goodfieldnohit says: Jan 16, 2013 8:10 PM

    I did not write this one, but it’s one of my favorites:

    The real victim in this? Consonants…

  68. goodfieldnohit says: Jan 16, 2013 8:11 PM

    The Lyin’ Hawaiian

  69. rickrock6661982 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:19 PM

    Man..no one is buying what Notre Dame is trying to spin right now

  70. dcroz says: Jan 16, 2013 8:19 PM

    At this point, is anyone even sure that he had a grandmother who died in September?

  71. chief5675 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:22 PM

    I don’t think this had anything to do with the Heisman. It was just meant to be a cover for being gay. A girlfriend- real or pretend would stop rumors. When it was time to graduate and move on the pretend girl had to be dropped -seems like there were too many people involved in the story to keep it from coming apart at some point. Pretty sad country we live in where a guy has to make up a girlfriend or have his career ruined by homophobes.

  72. normtide says: Jan 16, 2013 8:24 PM

    Rickrock- I was thinking the exact danger thing. Swarbrick’s reasons for being confident that Manti want involved sounds like the wookie defense from south park. If its a hoax, it is so good that’s even after its busted it becomes a new one making Mani look like an idiot.

  73. proceednet says: Jan 16, 2013 8:25 PM

    Mythical girlfriends for a mythical football program!

  74. boondocksaint7 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:26 PM

    If he was in on it and notre dame covered it due to bad publicity for a heisman campaign or a national title run, will the NCAA do anything? Maybe a 4 year bowl ban, loss of scholarships, and a $60 million to a fund for the victims of dead fake girlfriends. Espn can pressure notre dame to tear down touchdown jesus. Maybe the governor of Indiana will take the NCAA to court. Oh … Never mind.

  75. scir91onYouTube says: Jan 16, 2013 8:28 PM

    like someone said, this man is probably gay and had to put on a show for the media to win a heismann. how can an NFL team hire a shyster? sounds like a guy straight out of one of the back alleys of new york city. a shady shyster!

  76. Deb says: Jan 16, 2013 8:28 PM

    @goodfieldnohit …

    LOL … one doesn’t grow into the other. They’re different animals :) PFT and CFT are clearinghouse sites for info pulled from a variety of locations and repackaged with witty commentary from the writers. Deadspin, on the other hand, is actively working to get investigative scoops.

    CFT never covered Manti’s love story beyond a brief note saying the sports media was reporting he was grieving over personal losses. It was the sports media’s job to confirm their own facts.

  77. cometkazie says: Jan 16, 2013 8:29 PM

    bigmeechy74 says:
    Jan 16, 2013 7:47 PM
    If anyone can successfully cover this up, it’s the Catholics.
    +-+-+
    Ratzinger will blame it on Manti being Mormon.

    Mark my word.

  78. bender4700 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:41 PM

    When someone commits fraud or makes up a story, what is the gain for them?

    What does Te’o gain if he did make this whole thing up?

    If he was scammed, sucks for him.
    He was lying, shame on him.

    I just don’t know what he gets out of all of this if he was apart of it.

    Just seems like the poor kid failed to see as a high profile athlete at a high profile program he’s a target.

  79. hockinj25 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:41 PM

    I’m going to hold off judgement until more info comes out. Whether he made it up or it was a hoax, someone is seriously messed up in the head.

  80. hojo20 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:42 PM

    Big deal if T’eo is gay. The GB FudgePackers will draft him.

  81. crazyfootballfun says: Jan 16, 2013 8:46 PM

    What i find to be even more disturbing is that Te’o is still pretending to be a victim. He claimed to have met her” the warm look when their eyes met and he took her hand” —-he NEVER MET her. Now he says it was an online ” emotional ” relationship. Admit the dang truth, own up now. We are a forgiving people, a forgiving nation. I am listening right now to the Notre Dame press conference and it all about ” poor Manti.” Give me a flipping break!

  82. thegamecocker says: Jan 16, 2013 8:47 PM

    I’m waiting for MYDIXIENORMOUS to sign in with his comment! That should be a whopper! Where are you, man!? The world awaits your comedic statement. The Gamecocker

  83. jkulha86 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:47 PM

    Hey Mr. Emmert,

    First Brian Kelly forces a video guy to go up in a scissor lift in hellacious winds, he then falls to his death. Prince Shambo and one other ND player, supposedly a fellow starter, go around raping girls while the rest of the team harasses them not to tell anyone leading to one of the girls committing suicide. Now all the Te’o crap. So are you actually going to do your job, or just dust this under the mat to?

  84. crazyfootballfun says: Jan 16, 2013 8:54 PM

    OMG…you have got to listen to the press conference. The athletic director is crying – crying because ” the single most trusting person in the world ( Te’o ) will never be able to trust again.” Te’o said he met the girl…he didn’t, because she did not exist. So, we know already that he did not tell the truth.

  85. charger383 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:57 PM

    The NCAA better look into this. They have punished schools for much less

  86. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 16, 2013 9:02 PM

    I just remember when we were discussing the Heisman how many of you Notre Dame fans said how Te’o embodied everything the Heisman stood for and how Manziel was just a punk.

    Joe Paterno won a award for Integrity in sports 2 years before he died based on what we “knew”

    Nobody could accept that Te’o wasn’t the shiny beacon of hope.

    Notre Dame is a tarnished institution right now with this, the BCS beatdown, and of course the Seeburger incident.

  87. gershonpsu says: Jan 16, 2013 9:03 PM

    The 24-hour sports “news” machine led by the clowns at ESPiN and the Notre Dame sycophants at NBC are an embarrassment to the once proud profession of Journalism.

  88. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 16, 2013 9:04 PM

    thegamecocker says:
    Jan 16, 2013 8:47 PM
    I’m waiting for MYDIXIENORMOUS to sign in with his comment! That should be a whopper! Where are you, man!? The world awaits your comedic statement. The Gamecocker
    =====================

    I understand the guys funny but the bromance is getting a little wierd.

  89. goodfieldnohit says: Jan 16, 2013 9:06 PM

    I’ll take Imaginary Dead Girl Friends I’ve Never Met for $5,000, Alex.

  90. huskylawyer says: Jan 16, 2013 9:06 PM

    Te’o jokes are funny and all, but let’s not forget….

    ….

    a young lady who did not exist died.

  91. kupski says: Jan 16, 2013 9:19 PM

    Manti Te’o

    SOCIOPATH

    HORRIBLE TACKLER IN BIG GAMES

    PUBLICITY TO MAKE HIM LOOK GOOD FOR DRAFT.

    SOCIOPATH

    SOCIOPATH

    SOCIOPATH WITH KILLER INSTINCT BUT CANNOT FINISH IN TACKLES… WHO WANT THIS BUM NOW ? LOL OH MAN

    N.B.C. and Notre Dame….. NICE…. pushed this goofy bastard all year “he’s pro” yea he sure is.. “Pro Sociopath”

    Manti Te’o = ” The Story Teller”

  92. nofunleague says: Jan 16, 2013 9:20 PM

    Manti Armstrong…..does he ride a bike at times and have his own bracelet? phony

  93. northerndomer20 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:22 PM

    Weird…

  94. lovinthatsomanyhateonnd says: Jan 16, 2013 9:25 PM

    funny, Reagan Mauia of the AZ Cardinals says she existed, he knew her and met her in person…..and everyone ignores it..

  95. yyyass says: Jan 16, 2013 9:31 PM

    An imaginary beard. Imagine that. He should have just said he was long considering entering the priesthood. That was an effective cover for thousands of years, until about 10 years and 4000 little boys’ butts ago.

  96. thegamecocker says: Jan 16, 2013 9:35 PM

    @huskylawyer

    LOL! “Let’s not forget, a young lady who did not exist, has died”! That is very funny stuff! Well done Counselor.

  97. cometkazie says: Jan 16, 2013 9:38 PM

    Ahah! This is a distraction to take attention away from the budding rape scandal.

    They are doing a great job.

  98. barbeaux says: Jan 16, 2013 9:40 PM

    January 2013 has been pretty bad for Notre Dame.

  99. barbeaux says: Jan 16, 2013 9:43 PM

    Also, for those wondering why he would be in on it in the first place if he was…..well you see what it got him…heisman hype. Statistically he was an average player. He didn’t lead his team or the country in stats. Some say that the ND defense was very complex and that he orchestrated it on the field. Saban said and showed that it was a very, very simple defense. There are lots of curious loose ends to this story. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes.

  100. swagger91 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:45 PM

    Wow te’o really dropped the ball on this one…i have never benn to hawaii but I hear they have some of the most gorgeous women in the world..ive never benn to south bend but I mean damn skylar diggins is there! And him goin to LA every other year kinda makes me think dat he has seen plenty of beautiful women….and he does sumthn like this..welp kiss dat first round grade goodbye!

  101. thegamecocker says: Jan 16, 2013 9:49 PM

    OMG, this Story is approaching 100 posts and we have all day tomorrow. It just broke about 5 o’ clock EST tonight. Maybe ND is going to use this as an excuse for how poorly they played in the NC game. Brian Kelly’s error in judgment over the tower; the Lizzy Seeburg sexual assault allegation against ND player Prince Shembo; and now this! The Golden Dome is officially TARNISHED!! The episodes of Stephen Garcia, former QB at South Carolina dismissed from the team, is nothing compared to this story. At least Garcia graduated.

    MANTI TE’O = TAWANA BRAWLY AND
    ND = AL SHARPTON

  102. boondocksaint7 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:52 PM

    Imagine if he would have won the Heisman. Would he get Reggie Bushed?

  103. clemsonstillsucks says: Jan 16, 2013 9:53 PM

    “Oh no! Say it ain’t so! Not T’eo!”

    Steven King couldn’t write this stuff, even with an 8-ball and a sack full of peyote.

    Cheating spouses all over America will be taking notes as they watch T’eo try and get out of this.

  104. boondocksaint7 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:59 PM

    I wonder when his fake girlfriend died of fake cancer was she wearing a Livestrong bracelet? Kinda fitting now.

  105. burgandy2260 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:01 PM

    If anybody is going to interview this guy and really get to the bottom of this then I say let it be Gruden!

  106. mazblast says: Jan 16, 2013 10:06 PM

    Are these paragons of sports journalism trying to tell us that NO ONE bothered to check whether the girl was an actual Stanford student, that NO ONE bothered to check whether there was an actual funeral, death certificate, obituary, etc.?

    At this point, I hope to heck that someone is checking to see whether his grandmother existed, died, had a funeral, etc.

    Yeah, I know, I hope in vain. The story is more important than the truth. To use one of my favorite movie lines (from “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”), “When the truth conflicts with the legend, print the legend.” The devoted boyfriend, the tragic death of the girlfriend almost simultaneous with the death of the grandmother, the decision to play in their memories, it was all so…out of a Disney script.

    And of course ND played the legend up. It was in keeping with the stories Notre Dame loves to tell about itself. It even almost got the guy a Heisman Trophy.

    Fact checking might have ruined The Narrative, so apparently it wasn’t even attempted.

  107. cometkazie says: Jan 16, 2013 10:09 PM

    This also demonstrates what a sham the Heisman is.

  108. boondocksaint7 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:22 PM

    Breaking News: the Bengals have just moved Te’o to the top of their draft board! Follow closely by every player involved in the USC locker room fight. Haha

  109. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 16, 2013 10:33 PM

    So help me out here, Notre Dame has an alleged rapist, Prince Shembo, on their team that an influential, well connected alum who just happens to be a plaintiff’s attorney out of Chicago represents Mr Shembo on a pro bono basis when the University Police department has an ongoing investigation as to what happened in the Seeberger incident and “information” just happens to be given to this attorney?

    Now the Sports Infomation office AND the Notre Dame AD want people to believe that Manti Teo
    was a “mark” (their words, not mine) on a “hoax”?

    Who approved the stories to be released to the South Bend Tribune? What actual facts were supported by the writer, or did they just go by what the ND Sports Information department “told” them?

    This smacks of the ND hype machine being ginned up for a Teo Heisman run and what better way to hype it with an athlete having to overcome not one, but two deaths to people he loved and care for.
    Better than winning one for the Gipper! We’ll tear their hearts out with this emotional experience!

    Isn’t Character and Honesty not only traits that ND is suppose to espouse, but aren’t they tenets of being a Heisman winner? Good Johnny Football won it, because Teo to win it on a emotional fraud
    would be unconscionable for ND…. Oh,wait ND and President Jenkins doesn’t have a conscious, because they still haven’t met with the Seeberger family,

    At best, Teo is a very naive rube, a chump. At worst, he is a willing pawn used by ND.

    Notre Dame is only out if front of this because some reporter was going to embarrass ND (worst than the National Championship game) big time. By doing it this way, ND gets in front of the story and gets to play damage control, like the Seeberger incident.

    Pathetic Notre Dame, Pathetic

  110. kozbee says: Jan 16, 2013 10:36 PM

    Lennay Kekua was not real in Te`o life but Lacy sure the hell was when he knocked Te`o flat on his back in the NCG. ROLL TIDE

  111. randygnyc says: Jan 16, 2013 10:42 PM

    In the deadspin story they said every time they expected to meet the girl somewhere, the other boy was there. This is all obvious to me. Manti is gay. He created the gf to cover his tracks, not for the heirs man. Besides living in a sports culture, he was a practicing Mormon studying amongst Catholics. He’s scared to death in coming out. It’ll hurt him in the draft, too. There’s your explanation and motive. Reread the deadspin article now.

  112. huskylawyer says: Jan 16, 2013 10:46 PM

    “Thank you Te’o”

    Sincerely,

    Lance Armstrong

  113. letafan4ever says: Jan 16, 2013 10:48 PM

    Swarbrick gave a 37 minute Press conference-posted South Bend Tribune.com explains the Investigation and Hoax. He say Manti will be giving a full press conference soon. This was planned before the leak today by Deadspin.
    It was reportedly a sophisticated on line hoax with multiple characters. Listen to the full Presscon for details.

    Caution for those that like to tear someone down On Line. It could happen to you.

  114. charger383 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:50 PM

    NFL fans won’t taunt or mock him if he gets to NFL

  115. Deb says: Jan 16, 2013 10:55 PM

    @letafan4ever …

    Um … there weren’t any details in that press conference other than Notre Dame saying they stand by their man.

  116. letafan4ever says: Jan 16, 2013 10:57 PM

    P.s. The perpetrators of the Hoax are sick enough to now being enjoying their ability to now have a Nationwide reaction on all the On line sports sites and comment sections. Siiiiiiiick

    Remember the Investigators have found them on line but I imagine they just move on to someone else. In fact there were others that showed up in the investigation from other schools.

  117. Tim's Neighbor says: Jan 16, 2013 11:08 PM

    For the people throwing the word “rape” around, know that there was never an accusation of rape. Never. Alleged sexual assault is an entirely different thing. By saying rape, you prove how ignorant you are of that story and how you only see what you want to see.

    There are two sides to every story and the answer is usually somewhere in between. That goes with this case and the Lizzy Seeburg case. But if you’re going to use a dead woman’s tragic passing to make a point on an internet board, at least get the details correct.

  118. letafan4ever says: Jan 16, 2013 11:11 PM

    I thought the 37 minute Press conference was pretty informative. Never heard of Catfishing.
    The Investigators actually found the perpetrators on line discussing their hoax.

    Swarbrick explained it quite well I thought and Manti will have to explain it further.

    Beware of Online relationships and tearing people down online.

  119. lasseter1113 says: Jan 16, 2013 11:14 PM

    When I think of Manti Te’o ( if that’s even his real name) only one word comes to mind—

    EXPOSED

    First Alabama EXPOSES him as an average football player in the National Championship with the whole freakin’ world watching. Now Deadspin.com EXPOSES him to be either a VERY VERY gullible idiot OR an evil, conniving piece of crap. My money is on the latter but at this point nothing would surprise me. Especially since ND is involved. Man karma is a biatch….To think I actually said this kid was a class act, more like class-less act-or….

  120. pricecube says: Jan 16, 2013 11:25 PM

    The cover up is always worse than the transgression. I do not think anyone is buying the “Catfish” story Manti and ND are selling… Clearly Manti has already lied repeatedly about meeting his girfriend in person…. They clain he spoke to her on the phone often and all night long … how about producing the phone records … what was the number of the other party? Surely they can track down the alleged perpetraors of the hoax and perhaps even prosecute them criminally… but I believe they do not exist … just like “cancer girlfriend”…They chatted online? How about handing over his computers and cell phone to deadspin for digital forensic analysis… Until then I do not believe a word of this bullshit.

  121. Deb says: Jan 16, 2013 11:26 PM

    @letafan4ever …

    The term refers to a “documentary” and MTV reality show about fake online relationships. People have been posting about Catfishing here and on PFT all over these Manti Te’o stories. All Swarbrick has said is that he believes Te’o’s story about the hoax and that he’ll let Te’o provide the details later.

    My problem with this is that Te’o is now claiming that when he said he “met” this girl in person, he meant he met her online. But that’s not what he said originally. His father said the girl came to Hawaii. His father said he thought she was going to be his daughter-in-law (though he never claimed to have met her). Why would you go on television and talk with reporters about your “girlfriend” if it was only an online thing? This guy is a football star–he doesn’t have interaction with real girls?

    And he has a connection to the guy running the fake Twitter accounts. Sorry … but this doesn’t compute.

  122. mazblast says: Jan 16, 2013 11:31 PM

    lasseter, we were all fooled. Even those of us who loathe Notre Dame. its phony, holier-than-thou attitude, and Lyin’ Brian Kelly wanted this kid to succeed after all he’d been through.

    It hurts when you believe the best in people and find out it’s all a pack of lies. It really irks me when the suspicions I’ve dismissed as cynicism are proven true.

  123. Deb says: Jan 16, 2013 11:46 PM

    @mazblast …

    Hmmm … I wonder what Brian Kelly knew … and when he knew it :cool:

  124. mogogo1 says: Jan 17, 2013 12:08 AM

    What I’m not understanding is why ND is blindly backing this absurd hoax excuse rather than keeping a safe distance until more facts become apparent. Were they in on it?

    Manti’s latest version of events doesn’t fly. He never really met her? What about them supposedly meeting after the Stanford game? What about his dad saying she’d visited him in Hawaii multiple times?

  125. kozbee says: Jan 17, 2013 12:13 AM

    As in the movie Drop dead Fred a kids movie,maybe Teo has Imaginary friends like the kids in the movie did.Only friends that Teo can see.

  126. Tim's Neighbor says: Jan 17, 2013 12:20 AM

    ND hired a team of private investigators. Their AD, Jack Swarbrick, is a former (successful) lawyer who wouldn’t have done what he did today without solid standing.

    Te’o’s press conference will be interesting to say the least. Until then, let’s not get all internet tough guy and pretend that men have never before been swayed by beautiful women (Helen of Troy anyone?). Of course, most of the time people meet those beautiful women, but we’re living in a new day. How many internet relationships have you heard of? How many people have been divorced over internet relationships? These things exist.

    That said, even if the facts do favor Te’o, there are still some discrepancies he needs to account for.

    And remember, if he made this girl up as a hoax, it came well before the season started. Had I told you in August Te’o would be a Heisman candidate and ND would be undefeated in the regular season, you would have accused me of typical ND arrogance. So making this girl up last year to hoax the world was either the greatest long con involving a ton of moving pieces over a considerable amount of time and we’re all dumb for not catching on or he was the one who was hoaxed by a small group of people.

  127. Deb says: Jan 17, 2013 12:40 AM

    @Tim’s Neighbor …

    Yes, I’d agree with you if the imaginary love affair had been going on prior to this season. But while the Deadspin article says he tweeted some references to an LMK prior to the start of the season, he didn’t say anything to the media about this relationship and her car accident and cancer treatment until the season was underway. In those interviews, he said he met her during 2009, etc. But those interviews occurred during the 2012 season. Again, so far nothing has been publicly released to suggest anything relevant actually occurred outside the 2012 season.

    But … as you said, we’ll have to wait and see what kind of documentation Te’o and Notre Dame can produce.

  128. boobsmcgoo says: Jan 17, 2013 12:43 AM

    The first NFL player to be “outed”?

  129. pricecube says: Jan 17, 2013 12:51 AM

    @Tim’s Neighbor

    “Their AD, Jack Swarbrick, is a former (successful) lawyer who wouldn’t have done what he did today without solid standing.”

    _____________________________________

    You realize lawyers are basically hired guns skilled in sophistry right? They are “ethically” obligated to look out for their clients interests right or wrong. If a lawyer knows his client is guilty he still has to defend him… and even lie for him.

    Look at means, motive and opportunity. I cannot help but ask cui bono? Who benefits? In this case the adulation, attention etc are the only motive I can see for anyone doing this. That points to Manti. The alleged perpetrators of the hoax are probably going to turn out to be friends of Manti. We will see I guess… but in this day and age you leave a trail of digital crumbs… If he is behind this he should come clean.

  130. barbeaux says: Jan 17, 2013 12:53 AM

    Lol. Helen of Troy was a real person at least.

  131. whatchutalkinboutwillis says: Jan 17, 2013 1:14 AM

    Heh. Lifetime couldn’t have written a better script. How long do you reckon it’ll take before some networks makes a movie about all this?

  132. codysteeler says: Jan 17, 2013 1:42 AM

    Haha good! I love this, i wanna shake the hand of the people who faked the girlfriend, brilliant! Go Blue!

  133. mtmk0586 says: Jan 17, 2013 9:22 AM

    Sounds like a nasty trick by some people that are evil!

  134. fordmandalay says: Jan 17, 2013 9:33 AM

    As an accomplished liar myself, I can guarantee that Manti and his buddies were behind this from the beginning. They created the story for their own reasons (there are many probable), but they’re dumb jocks and did it poorly, and were found out finally by the lazy reporting community – who should have blown this story months ago if they were competent instead of just ‘issued statement’ repeaters.

  135. thegamecocker says: Jan 17, 2013 9:59 AM

    @tim’sneighbor

    Google “PRINCE SHEMBO RAPE” and I think you will see posters on this are quoting from those links. At least I used the word “ALLEDGED” in my post. But if you read many of the articles, it states Prince Shembo had a pattern of violence in high school:
    throwing desks, throwing a young HS student against the wall, etc.

    Net/net, ANY KIND OF SEXUAL ASSAULT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!!

  136. foreverlsu says: Jan 17, 2013 10:03 AM

    Did anyone file a missing persons report on @irishdodger or the mass of Notre Dame fans talking all of that smack in December about how ND would beat Bama? Come to think of it, I’ve seen very few ND “fans” since January 7. Guessing that bandwagon was actually a carriage
    that turned into a pumpkin.

    Where are you Notre Dame fans hiding? Come out come out and defend this loser’s imagination.

  137. gamustangdude says: Jan 17, 2013 10:25 AM

    ND has no choice now but to ride with the “hoax” hoax. Of course ND is going to have Teo’s back here. If this came out that Teo made this story up that would put a major black eye on the univeristy. Teo, would ultimately be stripped of all awards and accolades. This would be one of the biggest cover ups in recent years, second to Penn State, some can argue greater than Reggie Bush. No way ND wants / hell lets that happen.

    If I were ND investigating, and it did came out that Teo had some knowledge, Teo would be in this all byhimself. It’s better to save face, accept the ridicule, and admit Teo’s involvement (if there was any). Bad news only gets worse over time, not better.

  138. thegamecocker says: Jan 17, 2013 10:30 AM

    @gamustangdude

    Reminds me of an old adage:

    OH WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE WHEN FIRST WE PRACTICE TO DECEIVE.

  139. cometkazie says: Jan 17, 2013 11:28 AM

    foreverlsu says:
    Jan 17, 2013 10:03 AM

    (snip)
    Where are you Notre Dame fans hiding? Come out come out and defend this loser’s imagination.
    +-+-+
    With PapaBush drowning their sorrows.

  140. alligatorsnapper says: Jan 17, 2013 1:12 PM

    Let’s see…the media pumped up Notre Dame to a #1 ranking which was imaginary, proven by the butt whipping and annihilation by the Crimson Tide.

    Manti pumped up his imaginary lover and none in the complicitious media which wanted Manti to win a Heisman and Notre Dame to break the hegemony of the SEC on the National Championship did not investigate. If she had been a blow up doll, she would have had more substance than the Irish team and Manti against Alabama.

    This is a laugh and Manti is a sick man. The news media and NBC especially which has a contract with ND, are complicitious in this deception.

  141. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 17, 2013 7:04 PM

    Tim’s Neighbor wrote: Jan 16, 2013 11:08 PM

    For the people throwing the word “rape” around, know that there was never an accusation of rape. Never. Alleged sexual assault is an entirely different thing. By saying rape, you prove how ignorant you are of that story and how you only see what you want to see.

    There are two sides to every story and the answer is usually somewhere in between. That goes with this case and the Lizzy Seeburg case. But if you’re going to use a dead woman’s tragic passing to make a point on an internet board, at least get the details correct.

    Okay, Mensa,

    Explain to the blog of the rape kit submitted by Elizabeth Seeberger being sequestered by University Police within 24 hours of the event and there has been no
    talk of the kit ever since by the University Police. despite requests from the Seeberger family?

    Explain to the blog that the initial report by Elizabeth Seeberger to the University Police was submitted within 24 hours, yet University Police wait 9 days to even call
    the alleged suspects in for a discussion? Better yet, explain to the blog how Prince
    Shembo is lawyered up BEFORE going to the police. The lawyer in question is an
    influential, well heeled plaintiff attorney who happens to be an ND alum who
    is retained on a pro bono basis? Explain to the blog how Shembo’s legal counsel is allowed access to information with specific regards to the investigation by the University Police Department when the University tells the press and family members that the investigation is ongoing and “There are no details available, but will be made available once the investigation is completed.”

    Finally, explain to the blog how the County DA declines to bring charges against Prince Shembo because the deceased committed suicide and her rape report is considered hearsay, not a “dying declaration” that could have been used.

    Can you say Quid Pro Quo?

    Face it, Notre Dame President John Jenkins is great saying that he hasn’t seen the report nor asked questions regarding the Seeberger incident because he “wants to be
    an impartial arbiter regarding the final report.” Bottom line is that ND’s in house counsel doesn’t want him any where near the case in order to give him “plausible
    deniability” to the question of “what did he know and when did he know it?”.

    The press conference yesterday was a huge CYA by the ND AD to protect the brand, nothing more, nothing less.

    ND is pathetic.

  142. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 17, 2013 7:26 PM

    The best thing about this is that EVERYONE will now remember the runner up to Johnny Football in the Heisman race decades from now.

  143. kupski says: Jan 18, 2013 5:52 PM

    So ??????????????

    Whats this Nutjobs next move ?

    Does he commit suicide ?
    Hanging, Jumper ? O.D….

    Or is he ONE COMPLETE FREAK

    and purchases something as a gun, chemicals or explosives of some sort to “punish all the bad people on his campus for being “mean” to him “”” ????????

    HE IS A COMPLETE 100% WACK JOB !

    I hope that the University has him tested because hes nuttier than squirrel S%$# !

  144. thegamecocker says: Jan 18, 2013 7:09 PM

    @FOREVERLSU says:

    Where are you Notre Dame fans hiding? Come out come out and defend this loser’s imagination.
    —————————————————————
    Answer:
    From Peter, Paul, & Mary: Where Have All The Flowers Gone…..

    “Gone to graveyards everyone…..Oh when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn…….”

  145. cometkazie says: Jan 18, 2013 7:33 PM

    And written by Pete Seeger.

    The PP&M cover is the one I think of.

  146. Deb says: Jan 18, 2013 9:45 PM

    That is a great song old anti-war song. And since we’re just singing Pete Seeger and being mellow, I’m gonna light a match in tribute to John and Ben for letting us be ourselves … unlike the asses who censor us on PFT. I can say that here. Can’t say much of anything there with the Brat Patrol on duty.

  147. thegamecocker says: Jan 19, 2013 12:20 AM

    @Deb

    You’re real, right? I mean you’re not Lannay Kekua are you? I mean all us guys are establishing this relationship with you via these blogs so I just want to confirm that you are “The Deb” and that you’re not catfishing with us. I guess it’s late and I’m just paranoid. I guess “The Times, They Are A’Changin”.

  148. Deb says: Jan 19, 2013 1:21 AM

    @thegamecocker …

    Yes, I am a real live honest-to-goodness Bama-lovin’, Steelers-lovin’ Southern gal! Will admit to flirting a little online, but I have never imagined anyone to be my “boyfriend” unless we were up close and personal. The times may be a-changin’, but a relationship is not something you have with a keyboard.

    Oh … speaking of it being late. Yes, it is … which is probably why I just sent a blistering note to PFT that may be the end of me. No one with my wicked typing skills could have an online relationship. In person, I have a soft voice and sweet smile to get me out of trouble ;)

  149. thegamecocker says: Jan 19, 2013 8:09 AM

    @Deb

    You do know I’m joshing with ya? :)

  150. cometkazie says: Jan 19, 2013 8:35 AM

    We are all just pixels . . . .

  151. Deb says: Jan 19, 2013 1:11 PM

    Of course, I know that, gamecocker. LOL But I’m still real … except when I pixelate …

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