Manti Te’o

There is substantial circumstantial evidence that he knew his supposed girlfriend didn’t exist long before he came clean and stopped exploiting the supposed tragedy. My strong suspicion is that this started out as a hoax *on* Te’o, but evolved into a hoax that he participated in. My equally strong suspicion is that his shift from dupe to hoaxer started because it seemed too humiliating to admit that he had been so severely hoodwinked, and then built up further steam as he benefited from all sorts of positive attention.

More importantly, and regardless of the details, I see no reason to vilify the kid over an act of immaturity or allow it to impair his career prospects.


  1. marcus says

    Regardless of how one feels about spectator sports I believe this is true:
    “More importantly, and regardless of the details, I see no reason to vilify the (a) kid over an act of immaturity [where no actual harm was done] or allow it to impair his career prospects.”

  2. chrisyoung says

    Unless you’re dating Schroedinger’s cat I don’t see how it’s possible to be unclear about whether your girlfriend exists or not.

  3. says

    I agree that T’eo’s culpability (or lack thereof) isn’t a big deal. What is a big deal is the ways in which NDU apparently perpetrated this hoax on gullible (and very culpable) journalists even after they knew that the girlfriend was imaginary. It’s just more evidence of the cancer that is college football and the lies that support it.

    This is a story of institutional corruption: NDU, college sports, and “sports journalism,” IMHO.

  4. Tracey says

    I heard on NPR on Saturday that Manti and his family are Mormon…and suddenly it all made sense. As we learned in the last election cycle, Mormons have no problem lying their heads off if they think it will get them what they want. In Manti’s case, it was sympathy and attention.

  5. markr1957 says

    And here I’ve been assuming this story only came out to distract people from the embarrassment that is Notre Dame football. They sure proved they didn’t belong in the BCS Championship game.

  6. meursalt says

    @ Dr. Someone:

    He’s a college student from the US who happens to play football. He matters because everyone was real impressed when he skipped his girlfriend’s funeral to play football, then it later came out that there was no funeral, and the girlfriend turned out to be a male acquaintance (a friend of Te’o’s cousin or something along those lines) who is very much alive.


    I see no reason for Mormon hate here. Mormons don’t have a monopoly on lying. All the Mormons I’ve known have been good people and fine upstanding citizens, despite their silly supernatural beliefs. It might be fair to criticise them for contributing to an organization that actively works to deny rights to people, but I see no grounds to make sweeping accusations of dishonesty.

    And in response to the OP from CPP, I have no problem with vilifying or ridiculing the guy. He’s either complicit, or an idiot. I find it amusing that he’s playing the idiot in order to milk the situation for yet more sympathy from fans He must think the fans are idiots and won’t don’t notice the inconsistencies in his various retellings of the story. On the other hand, I fully agree this shouldn’t impede his career. His lack of ethics and judgement in creating this harmless situation have no bearing on his football skills. If Michael Vick still gets to have a career and be paid sums most people can only dream of, there’s no reason Te’o shouldn’t have the same opportunity.

  7. Tracey says

    @meursalt: I’ll agree that the Mormon women I’ve met have generally been nice people, but the Mormon men I’ve worked with over the past 2 decades will lie at the drop of a hat, about just about anything. Their very own faith has the concept of “lying for Jesus”, which means it’s perfectly okay for a Mormon to lie if it gets them what they want.

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