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Swarbrick addresses Te’o situation, but questions remain

Notre Dame v Michigan State Getty Images

Or, rather, one very key question remains.

The sports news cycle exploded Wednesday evening with a Deadspin report alleging that the story surrounding the death of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o‘s girlfriend was in fact a lie allegedly perpetrated in part by the player.  Both the University and Te’o followed that up with separate statements that each came to the same conclusion — Te’o had been duped by and became the unwitting victim of an elaborate hoax.

At a hastily arranged press conference Wednesday, athletic director Jack Swarbrick continued that theme.  In opening remarks before taking questions from the assembled media, Swarbrick described Te’o as “the perfect mark,” saying that the Heisman finalist “was the victim of that hoax. … is the victim of that hoax, and he will carry that with him for a while.”

Based on information relayed to him by Te’o as part of the school’s own initial look into the situation, Swarbrick stated that Te’o received a call in early December from a number associated with Lennay Kekua — the girlfriend who Te’o had proclaimed to be the love of his life — and with a voice on the other end of the line that sounded like that of Kekua claiming she had not in fact died three months earlier.  Three weeks later, on Dec. 26, Te’o took that information to the Irish coaching staff before it ultimately landed in the hands of a private investigation firm.

A report from that investigative firm was delivered to the University Jan. 4 — three days before the Irish played Alabama for the BCS championship — and forwarded to Te’o and his family. “It… is my understanding that they were on a timetable to release the story themselves next week when today’s story broke,” Swarbrick stated.

The hoax perpetrated by multiple unidentified individuals was so elaborate, Swarbrick explained, that there was even “a place to send flowers” after Kekua’s supposed death.

“There are a remarkable number of characters involved,” the AD explained. “We don’t know how many people they represent. There are male and female characters, brothers, cousins, mother, and we don’t know if it’s two people playing multiple characters or multiple people. But, again, it goes to the sophistication of this, that there are all these sort of independent pieces that reinforce elements of the story all the way through.”

Swarbrick at one point was on the verge of tears, pausing for several seconds to compose himself as he described the “tragedy” of “the single most trusting human being I’ve ever met will never be able to trust in the same way again in his life.”  That specific exchange was the overriding takeaway from Swarbrick’s surreal press conference, one that shows, right or wrong, the athletic director is standing firmly behind Te’o’s version of what transpired over the past three years.

Despite Swarbrick’s staunch and eloquent and oft-times emotional support of Te’o, there was one nagging question that the AD simply couldn’t or wouldn’t answer.  What was the nature of Te’o’s supposed relationship with Kekua?

“What I will tell you, this was exclusively an online relationship,” Swarbrick said when asked to explain how the Te’o-Kekua pairing came to be.

That, though, doesn’t jibe with an Oct. 12, 2012 article from the South Bend Tribune — an article, incidentally, that was taken offline in the wake of the Deadspin story — that contained these quotes from Te’o’s father.

“They started out as just friends,” Brian Te’o told the Tribune. “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. But within the last year, they became a couple.”

A short time later, Swarbrick was asked about when the relationship began and how they met.

“I don’t remember the exact length of time,” Swarbrick said, “but it had it began with an online reaching-out to him that he responded to.”

Again, that falls short of the narrative spun in the Tribune story, which focuses on Te’o and Kekua meeting after the Notre Dame-Stanford game in 2009.

Their stares got pleasantly tangled, then Manti Te’o extended his hand to the stranger with a warm smile and soulful eyes.

Lennay Kekua was a Stanford student and Cardinal football fan when the two exchanged glances, handshakes and phone numbers that fateful weekend three seasons ago.

Near the end of the press conference, a reporter again pressed Swarbrick on how the relationship between Te’o and Kekua had been portrayed, intimating that it was the player himself who led many to believe that the two had met in 2009 at Stanford.  Essentially, the whole “hoax” claim was again being called into question, and Swarbrick again danced around any type of in-person meeting between the couple.

Q: …I know there have been reports that Manti said he had an initial face to face meeting with his girlfriend at Stanford at some point. What’s going on with that?

JACK SWARBRICK: Again, I’ll let Manti provide the details, but as I said earlier in this press conference, when Manti took me through the entire story from start to finish, when he first described the contact, he used the verb met. For him, the fact that they connected online, that they met online, was consistent with using that verb. Not one that I might have chosen, but it was for him.

How stares get pleasantly tangled or handshakes get exchanged in an initial online connection is, at the moment, the great unknown and will take an explanation from the player himself to unravel that technological mystery.

Speaking of which, Swarbrick suggested during his press conference that Te’o could meet with the media as early as Thursday.  Whether any additional light will be shed on the bizarre situation, or whether Te’o will further bury himself in the court of public opinion, when that inquisition takes place remains to be seen.

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55 Responses to “Swarbrick addresses Te’o situation, but questions remain”
  1. 1trojanlove says: Jan 17, 2013 12:38 AM

    1st, no Skype…?
    2nd, he will be on Oprah within the next 2 weeks!

  2. barbeaux says: Jan 17, 2013 12:51 AM

    If he’s a victim, initiate a criminal investigation and lay it all out. Making fake profiles with the intent to deceive is illegal in most states. Phone records, Internet logs….they’ll all tell the tale.

  3. ningenito78 says: Jan 17, 2013 12:55 AM

    Unless he was scammed out of something or extorted or something it’s not a criminal matter.

  4. yyyass says: Jan 17, 2013 12:58 AM

    Apparently Notre Dame does not allow facial hair, but they do allow beards.

  5. frug says: Jan 17, 2013 12:59 AM

    My guess (not that anyone cares) is that this began as a case of Catfishing, but Te’o chose to embellish the extent of the relationship and by the time he found out what was really going on he was too embarrassed and fearful of the inevitable blow back to admit what happened so he chose to live the lie.

  6. ryanw822 says: Jan 17, 2013 1:13 AM

    J. Peterman is claiming he met Kekua and had sex with her one night in his office.

    So there is another who can vouch for her being real.

  7. pricecube says: Jan 17, 2013 1:42 AM

    Let’s see the phone records. Let’s see the chat logs… Let deadspin independently examine the evidence… Until then I do not buy the ND story of Manti as victim. I cannot understand why the school would go to bat for this guy in such a public way. The story is absurd. Manti has already lied repeatedly about meeting her in person. Furthermore how did this never come up? He never felt it was worth mentioning that he had never actually met “the love of his life” in person? Not even after the story was sensationalized and given massive publicity? Almost no one is going to believe that. The school looks even more ridiculous backing such an implausible story. Manti and his collaborators had a motive. People make up stories like this with some frequency (e.g. pretend to have cancer) in order to elicit sympathy, attention etc.

  8. codysteeler says: Jan 17, 2013 1:50 AM

    Another opportunity for Oprah is about to come knockin

  9. kappy32 says: Jan 17, 2013 2:06 AM

    I really don’t know what to believe with this story. I am a huge Notre Dame fan & I normally don’t form a liking for specific players, just the team, but Te’o was different. The whole story about him persevering & playing the same week his grandma & “girlfriend” died didn’t ring much with me. The way I saw it was that the kid was playing a game, an outlet from the world’s problems, and that it really wasn’t too much for him to play. As a matter of fact, being a former player myself, I think it would’ve been harder for him not to play & to mourn with his family. It was his WHOLE STORY, beginning to end, that made me really like & respect this kid. With that being said, I do know one thing & that is if he made this story up for sympathy & publicity purposes, he is a very mentally sick young man who is in dire need of professional help.

    However, I don’t know if he did make it up. I am a regular viewer of the MTV Show “Catfish” and that show has proven to me that people being duped & falling in love with fake online people is more common & prevalent than I had originally thought. Additionally, that very thing happened to my cousin, who I am very close with, and it completely tore him apart emotionally. He was embarrassed, hurt, betrayed – every feeling to could possibly have once you realize someone was playing with your heart, emotions & feelings for personal satisfaction. I agree that there are serious holes in Te’o’s story, especially since he was quoted as saying he met her in person (I read the Tribune story months ago). Although the world has changed & online relationships have become more common, there is still a negative connotation to starting one. When people hear of online relationships, people will always ask, to themselves of course, “What? You couldn’t meet someone in real life?” That sentiment is going to be felt ten-fold with Te’o had he admitted from the beginning that his relationship was online in nature. People would ask what is wrong with him that he can’t find a normal woman when, from outside appearances, this kid has EVERYTHING going for him & could probably get a date with any South Bend co-Ed of his choosing. I honestly believe that he was well aware of this sentiment, and in order to avoid the embarrassment of having to admit to having an online romance, he decided to tell a story of how they met in person & how they began their relationship. It is not uncommon at all for people who meet one another online to tell friends & family that they actually met through a mutual friend, at a coffee shop, or at a bar so as to avoid the negative stigma of online romances. If Te’o comes out & states that as a reason why he said they met, I would completely believe him because it would make 100% sense & is in-line with online relationships I have heard of. On the other hand, if he comes out and says he was “misquoted” or “doesn’t remember” or “I was speaking of another relationship” then it would be the equivalent, to me at least, of him admitting to making EVERYTHING up. I just don’t know, but for his sake & the sake of Notre Dame, I hope he was just an innocent victim here.

    Then again, even if he admits to embellishing how they met to avoid the stigma of online relationships, there are still a couple things that bug me with this story. The way they met, how their eyes caught one another & they exchanged numbers on enemy turf, seems to be just too perfect. That is the way a B-level romantic drama movie would start, or something straight out of Varsity Blues. It seems too perfect & too well-thought to be just an embellishment on how they met. I could see him saying that they met when he was at a store somewhere & exchanged numbers or a friend introduced him, but not the whole mooshy, romantic novel story. It seems that he went too far out of his way to make it seem perfect. Then, with all that, there’s the million dollar question you need to ask any time someone tells a small lie: If he made up the way they met, what makes me think he wouldn’t make the WHOLE thing up? It’s like every drunk driver who tells the cop, “I only had two beers.” I just don’t know & I’m confused about this. I just hope Te’o comes out & tells the complete truth.

  10. irishking says: Jan 17, 2013 3:57 AM

    It is not too difficult for me to see how someone can get caught up in ‘fantasy’ and that is apparently what happened here.

  11. mungman69 says: Jan 17, 2013 5:23 AM

    I can’t see him involved like this. He said that he met her. This is crazy.

  12. dcroz says: Jan 17, 2013 6:21 AM

    Next Notre Dame will accuse someone associated with Alabama–or the school itself–of being the perpetrator so as to distract T’eo during the BCS National Championship Game, thus explaining his terrible performance.

  13. justanobservor says: Jan 17, 2013 6:31 AM

    Somehow this story seems very appropriate given the fact that the entire history of Notre Dame football is based on a series of myths created in the minds of a bunch of fiction writers in the US news media.

    I don’t know who appear to be the greater fools in this sad tale – ESPN, CBS News, The New York Times or Te’o — among others.

  14. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Jan 17, 2013 6:59 AM

    If your answer is twice as long as the article itself then maybe it’s time for you to look into another career.

  15. canetic says: Jan 17, 2013 7:47 AM

    If this was the love of his life, and she “died”, why didn’t he attend her funeral? Even if he had never met her in person up to that point he would still go to the funeral, right? Unless he knew that she was made up.

  16. charger383 says: Jan 17, 2013 7:55 AM

    Do not belive him or Notre Dame

  17. packerbadger says: Jan 17, 2013 8:08 AM

    So what? Who the f cares? This is a non story about someones personal life. Another reason news reporters are listed just above or below used car salesmen. Funny how news reporters don’t hold the microphone up to fellow reporters when something bad happens to one of their own.

  18. cometkazie says: Jan 17, 2013 8:14 AM

    Immature college kids . . . .

  19. woodyc says: Jan 17, 2013 8:19 AM

    Actually his girlfriend never really died, she just ran off with Jan Brady’s ex, George Glass.

  20. greyhawk9 says: Jan 17, 2013 9:12 AM

    i cant wait to hear what this fool has to say to try to over up this crap……..all i know is that its gonna be good. i hope he an keep all the layers of bull straight in his head.
    If the love of your life (which you met in person but never really met in person???) died and you were unable to be at her fake funeral wouldnt you go see her family of her grave after the fact??????this dude is in it up to his eyeballs and sinking fast.

  21. greyhawk9 says: Jan 17, 2013 9:16 AM

    love the inspirational video teo…..i hope someday you can get past all the imaginary pain youre feeling inside. Im sure grandma is proud of you up in heaven…….that is, if shes actually dead

  22. michiganhockey11 says: Jan 17, 2013 9:59 AM

    I couldn’t believe this when I caught it on the drive home yesterday. We definitely need more details on it. I thought his draft stock fell the way he played in the national championship game. Imagine how far it will fall if it is found out that Te’o was actually involved in this?

  23. florida727 says: Jan 17, 2013 9:59 AM

    Unfortunately for Notre Dame and Te’o, this raises more questions than answers. From ND’s perspective, they used the whole grandma-then-girlfriend-dying-in-the-same-week story to hype his Heisman candidacy. Hmm. Did he meet her in person or didn’t he? Did she ever really even exist? If she was the so-called “love of his life”, why didn’t he OR SOMEONE FROM HIS FAMILY attend the funeral? (Him not going can be cost-justified or explained away, sort of, you know, college-kid-that-can’t-afford-airfare thing; but if she was in CA or Hawaii, why didn’t his parents go?)

    Too many things pointing to an elaborate scam by either Te’o, Notre Dame, or both. Sorry to pile on the kid, but this also shows how either immature or just outright stupid he must be. With the amount of skepticism that already surrounds “Internet relationships”, who was advising this kid? This kid’s supposed to be the face of Notre Dame football and yet they don’t have someone monitoring his online activity or questioning his “relationship”? This story won’t go away anytime soon.

  24. irishking says: Jan 17, 2013 10:14 AM

    I think the story should go away. Oh Please Lord..take this story away forever!

  25. mogogo1 says: Jan 17, 2013 10:16 AM

    It’s a given Te’0 was involved since “meeting online” doesn’t mesh with exchanging numbers after a football game or her visiting him in Hawaii. Now the question is whether ND was in on the hoax.

    And Swarbrick really upped the ante by claiming they’d investigated on their own and determined Te’o wasn’t involved. There would be scores of text messages, email, records of 8-hour overnight phone calls, some florist would have gotten paid to send flowers to the supposed funeral, probably other flower deliveries to the hospital during the multiple hospital stays, etc. Any investigation would immediately demand to see those sorts of things. Yet, Swarbrick just mentions Te’o bringing them a single phone message and him TELLING them his story. And if the hoax was this elaborate, why wouldn’t ND have instantly called the cops?

  26. joebone says: Jan 17, 2013 10:34 AM

    The real victim here is going to be Jack Swarbrick. He swallowed this whole thing like a catfish on a dough ball, and will be gone as soon as the truth comes out in 3,2,…

  27. thegamecocker says: Jan 17, 2013 10:43 AM

    I think “Lennay Kekua” was a blow-up doll who got pinched and passed away! It’s possible since Manti met her and she visited Hawaii…..

  28. packerbadger says: Jan 17, 2013 10:52 AM

    I hope this guy doesn’t kill himself over this. Hope all you glass house dwellers are ok with it if he does. Non story. Grow the f up.

  29. gatorprof says: Jan 17, 2013 11:05 AM

    The 2012 ND football season will forever been known at the “Year of the Fraud”.

    As the #1 BCS team, ND was exposed as a fraud.

    As an elite LB, Te’o was exposed as a fraud.

    So why should it surprise anyone that the sob story to build his case as a Heisman candidate further exposed Te’o as a fraud.

    What’s next?

    This says it all,

    ***********
    justanobservor says: Jan 17, 2013 6:31 AM

    Somehow this story seems very appropriate given the fact that the entire history of Notre Dame football is based on a series of myths created in the minds of a bunch of fiction writers in the US news media.

    I don’t know who appear to be the greater fools in this sad tale – ESPN, CBS News, The New York Times or Te’o — among others.
    ***********

  30. macdbeliever says: Jan 17, 2013 11:12 AM

    Here’s what I think happened…
    Te’o met a girl online and they started a relationship. He was embarrassed to tell people it was an online relationship because he was fearful people would see it as “lame”. Not uncommon, especially for an all American linebacker who could have the pick of the litter. So he lied, said they had met to take the heat off. Simple enough. I have a friend who just married his girlfriend of 3 years, whom he met online, and they told all but a handful friends…not even their parents, that they met at a social event…not match.com. One is an attorney, the other runs a business. They were afraid they’d be judged for it. Kid was duped and the lies started out as a cover for an online relationship.

  31. ttalarico says: Jan 17, 2013 11:55 AM

    @macdbeliever

    Very well said. Until all the facts are known, that is a very possible explanation.

    I sincerely hope that is what happened for Te’o sake.

  32. strauhal says: Jan 17, 2013 12:00 PM

    First of all, I believe Teo. Second of all, who the hell cares?! This guy is a college football player in terms of the exposure he gets from the media. His personal life really does not matter to anyone else but those who actually know him and care about him. Whether or not he had a girlfriend, whether or not they held hands, whether or not he likes seafood does not make him a better player, does not make his team win games, does not win him awards. His personal life is none of your god damned business, you anti-social freaks! Give me a break! I read on here that people are asking for PHONE records to be made public so they can individually analyze every freaking call some guy named Teo that lives over a thousand miles away from them made to a girl. Really??!! You want to spend your time looking at some college football players call log?! What about your wife and kids? Maybe you should go spend some time with them. Give me a freaking break.

  33. canehouse says: Jan 17, 2013 12:09 PM

    Produce the receipt for the flowers, and produce the call records and all will understand the “dupe”. Produce not, and you will be always referred to as a liar.

  34. dolphone says: Jan 17, 2013 12:41 PM

    Clearly, he’s referring to a TCP/IP hanshake. And packets sometimes longingly gaze at each other, y’know?

  35. mogogo1 says: Jan 17, 2013 1:45 PM

    So, Te’o first tells ND about this on Dec. 26. It’s a hugely complicated hoax that went on for over a year–there’d be scores of texts, email, phone records to look over, numbers to run to see who is behind them, etc. Yet, by Jan. 4 there’s already an investigation completed with a report given to the university and ND is positive Te’o wasn’t involved in any way? And the “investigation” was so incomplete the AD can’t even take a stab at answering “But if he never met her, how come he said he did?”

  36. granadafan says: Jan 17, 2013 2:45 PM

    The first thing a defense lawyer does for his guilty client is to put out a spin story to create doubt in the public or jury. How many times have we heard outrageous explanations by agents of players who committed crimes or other drunken/high acts? Neutered Dame is “standing by” Teo publicly so as to not throw the kid under the bus, but when Teo comes clean, ND can claim THEY were duped.

    Swarbrick blew it though, with his fake tears. It always comes down crashing harder when you CONTINUE to lie to everyone.

  37. ajarkoski says: Jan 17, 2013 2:51 PM

    Kappy32,
    This is a comment page. Not a long. rambling diatribe. Learn to summarize your stuff. Skipped it.

    Let’s see the picture of this girl. Not the first guy to be duped by a pretty face. Think Teo is an honest guy and probably embelished things as many young studs do.

    How about these people were trying to ruin his game and had a load of money on that weekend’s opponent? Don’t know when the death was reported or who they were playing, but there has to be some angle here other than trying to break a guy’s heart.

  38. irishking says: Jan 17, 2013 2:54 PM

    A grand sports soap opera. That’s all it is.

  39. pricecube says: Jan 17, 2013 3:23 PM

    @strauhal

    “First of all, I believe Teo.”

    Then you are either in denial or suffering brain damage.

    “Second of all, who the hell cares?! This guy is a college football player in terms of the exposure he gets from the media. His personal life really does not matter to anyone else but those who actually know him and care about him.”… “His personal life is none of your god damned business, you anti-social freaks!”

    No one did care about his (fabricated) personal life until he exploited it to gain celebrity, fame, sympathy, attention and Heisman votes. That is all on him.

    “I read on here that people are asking for PHONE records to be made public so they can individually analyze every freaking call some guy named Teo that lives over a thousand miles away from them made to a girl. Really??!!”

    If ND and Teo are going to double down on this mendacious tale they are spinning, then they damn well better have some concrete evidence to back it up.

  40. thegamecocker says: Jan 17, 2013 5:10 PM

    Ya know what PackerBastard, every week that went by all we heard about was how good ND was; how they had this kid who finally blossomed. No, I certainly do not wish the Manti Te’o kill himself or anyone else for that matter. But for you to tell us bloggers to “grow the f–k up” is also despicable. ND needs to get this kid help because any way you cut this apple pie, Manti is one sick guy!

    BTW, we are holding a sayonce on-line for his dead girlfriend after Sat Night Live…..that show is being hosted by….you guessed it….Lennay Kekua…..chuckle over that one fool!

  41. thegamecocker says: Jan 17, 2013 5:45 PM

    Now I know why Swarbrick is no longer an attorney. He simply is not believable….no one bit! You know who is laughing his ass off right now: BIG JIM DELANY of the Big Ten! And I hope he laughs as hard as I am. The funniest thing is he’s sitting there after the Penn St mess last year…can you imagine if he had to deal with this as well?? BTW, where is the support from ND’s new conference, THE ACC? They should cut ties with ND because this is far from over. And who will speak for MS. LIZZIE SEEBURG?? She was the ND Freshman who committed suicide because she was allegedly sexually assaulted by a ND football players (Prince Shemko). This story deserved much more transparency than it received. Hey AD Swarbrick, how about shedding a real tear for this young woman who REALLY DID DIE!!!

  42. gatorprof says: Jan 17, 2013 9:08 PM

    This does explain all of the missed tackles against Bama…he was trying to hug is imaginary girlfriend!

    http://teoing.tumblr.com/

  43. irishking says: Jan 17, 2013 9:45 PM

    Swarbrick probably could have done better by not treating the kid as some kind of Forrest Gump character who was badly duped.

  44. pricecube says: Jan 17, 2013 10:35 PM

    This shit is global.

  45. normtide says: Jan 18, 2013 10:16 AM

    His personal life is no ones business. Sorry, that went out the window when he was on TV every ten minutes, taking about his personal life. He brought her up at least three times after he ‘learned the truth’.

  46. granadafan says: Jan 18, 2013 11:29 AM

    Since Teo kept bringing up his “girlfriend” in interviews, and NBC continued to use the sympathy angle for ratings, then it’s open season on Teo, Notre Dame, Swarbrick, and NBC (Notredame Broadcast Network) for their lies.

  47. irishking says: Jan 18, 2013 12:18 PM

    I seriously doubt that Notre Dame deliberately lied about this online fiasco. Swarbrick did his best to try to make some sense of it.

    From now on all the team players should be stripped of their computers and anything with internet access.

  48. normtide says: Jan 18, 2013 12:35 PM

    Yes, cause ND is above covering things up. No one is buying that.

  49. cometkazie says: Jan 18, 2013 2:17 PM

    normtide says:
    Jan 18, 2013 12:35 PM
    Yes, cause ND is above covering things up. No one is buying that.
    +-+-+

    This article says the Te’o hoorah comes at a good time for ND as it diverts attention from the Lizzy Seeberg scandal, which is much more sinister. The Roman Catholic hierarchic are experts at sweeping dirt under rugs and diverting attention, blame, and responsibility from themselves.

  50. cometkazie says: Jan 18, 2013 2:18 PM

    Oops, forgot to post the link

    http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/joannabrooks/6776/how_notre_dame_benefits_from_the_manti_te_o_girlfriend_hoax/

    Sorry ’bout that, chief.

  51. mogogo1 says: Jan 18, 2013 2:36 PM

    Wonder if Swarbrick will have another press conference to explain why Manti was still talking about the girl like she was real AFTER he’d found out it was a hoax? It’d be a good opportunity for more fake tears as he explained how he’d failed the kid by “misunderstanding” the story.

    ND should fire Swarbrick. Who on earth would totally back this kid without first looking over his public statements to see if they were consistent with what he was selling?

  52. thegamecocker says: Jan 18, 2013 5:13 PM

    @mogogo1

    Absolutely AGREE! This empty suit should be relieved of his duties immediately! Who will speak for Lizzy Seeburg and Declan? Here is an interesting commentary from a Notre Dame graduate included in a post by Ms. Joanna Brookes:

    January 18, 2013 3:48AM
    How Notre Dame Benefits from the Manti Te’o Girlfriend Hoax
    Post by Joanna Brooks

    Amazing, isn’t it, the kind of attention this Manti Te’o dead girlfriend hoax is grabbing?

    As the details pile up, it does appear that the celebrated linebacker was at least complicit in the storytelling, demonstrating a penchant for sentimentality and “faith-promoting” embellishment that has some context in Mormon culture.

    But who’s benefiting from the Lennay Kekua story now? Not Manti Te’o.

    One only need follow a trail of excellent reporting by the Washington Post’s Melinda Henneberger (herself a Notre Dame alum) to realize it’s a shame to be paying more attention to the fake Kekua than it is to the real Lizzy Seeberg, a college freshman who committed suicide after she alleged sexual assault against a Notre Dame football player.

    Writing in the National Catholic Reporter last spring, Henneberger made a powerful case for a pattern of sexual assault against women condoned by Notre Dame University.

    And there are other football-connected student deaths that have led for calls to shut the program down.

    Next to the callous attitude toward sexual assault reporters like Henneberger have identified at Notre Dame, the Manti Te’o dead girlfriend hoax does in fact look like a fairy tale—and its curiously irresistible appeal provides the perfect distraction from the really serious questions surrounding the football program and its leadership.

    Is Mormon yarn-spinning a cover for Catholic institutional tolerance for sexual abuse and misogyny?

  53. irishking says: Jan 19, 2013 6:53 AM

    I certainly would not want to have been in Jack Swarbrick’s position of having to try to explain what went on in a young man’s mind. Let’s be fair—hormonal reactions to fantasies are not easy to explain in the least.

  54. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 19, 2013 11:11 AM

    irishking wrote: Jan 19, 2013 6:53 AM

    I certainly would not want to have been in Jack Swarbrick’s position of having to try to explain what went on in a young man’s mind. Let’s be fair—hormonal reactions to fantasies are not easy to explain in the least.
    _________________

    Then you should be camping on President John Jenkins doorstep to
    have full disclosure on the alleged rape of Liz Seeberg and the willingness of Notre Dame to cover up for one of it’s football players, Prince Shembo. What does Notre Dame have to hide?

  55. cometkazie says: Jan 19, 2013 2:26 PM

    Notre Dame is doing a lot better job covering up improprieties than Penn State did, but the RCC is an expert at such things.

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