Manti Te'o Considered a Fraud, Victim, or Fool?

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( — 17, January, 2013) South Bend, IN — Manti Te’o was the runner up of for the Heisman Trophy in 2012, and is one of the most beloved Notre Dame football players in recent memory.  Te’o lost his grandmother and supposed girlfriend, Lennay Kekua on the same day this fall within hours of one another prior to Notre Dame’s game with Michigan State.  The loss of his grandmother was real, the loss of his girlfriend, was a hoax.  Whehter or not Manti Te’o was a victicm of “Catfishing”, or if he used the information for his own benefit has yet to be determined.

There are many questions still unanswered concerning the online relationship between Te’o and Lennay Kekua, the fictious girlfriend strickend by cancer.  Notre Dame Athlethic Director Jack Swarbrick quickly jumped to Te’o defense and stated he was a victim of an elaborate hoax while fighting back tears during his press conference.  Through Swarbrick’s press confernce, Notre Dame was quickly launched into the middle of the drama, with many questions still left unanswered. 

Questions such as why did Manti Te’o wait 20 days after hearing the news to contact officials at Notre Dame about the events?  Why did Te’o state in an intereview on December 8th, after learning of the hoax,  that he spent a lot of time working with relay for life prior the the Heisman trophy ceremony, because he was so impacted by cancer in the previous year.  He stated  “I really got hit with cancer.  I don’t like cancer at all.  I lost most of my grandparents and girlfriend to cancer.”  This statement was clearly made after learning about the scam, yet he stuck to the story.  

This may simply be the fact that a 22 year old was extremely embarrassed about being the victim of such an scam, and he was not ready to answer the never ending list of questions he will no doubt be asked over the weeks to come. There are rumors all over the web that he used the story to help bolster his Heisman Trophy chances, and the story was nothing more than a publicity stunt from the very beginning.  Only time will tell, and until then, rumors and speculation will continue to abound.  Fortunately, the Heismann Trophy Committee will not have to deal with another winner having to turn in their trophy.