Frank’s Faceoff: Manti Te’o ashamed

Frank Passalacqua, Sports Editor

“Faith is believing in something that you most likely can’t see, but you believe to be true. You feel it in your heart and soul that it’s true…”

That quote sounds a lot like something Manti Te’o would say regarding the whole girlfriend hoax situation, with believing what you can’t see. Except, this quote came from an interview months before this surfaced, when back in October, he gave an interview about “overcoming tragedy.”

The story dates back to September 12, 2012 when Te’o was informed all in the matter of six hours that his grandmother and girlfriend had passed away in the same day. His grandmother due to an illness, and his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, to the battle of leukemia. However, 5 months later, rumors break that his “girlfriend,” never really existed.

This threw everyone for a spin, especially as this surfaced right after the season ended and the players begin to prep for the NFL Combine. Te’o, acclaimed for his strength and ability to prosper, was labeled a ‘scam artist’ and a ‘victim.’

Te’o claims he was in fact the victim of a cruel online joke, falling in love with a girl he never even met. However, numerous interviews with the player show him saying how beautiful she was and how he knew from the moment he first saw her that she was the one. Or how about how he said he was close with her family and they were a big support source for him? Manti swears he was the victim and that he didn’t know she was fake, but it doesn’t add up.

If you said you knew her family, but she wasn’t real, doesn’t that put the attention on you? Te’o is still a great player, and the his original tragic story was just the icing on the cake for one of the most inspirational seasons in Notre Dame history, but so much is in question.

Manti never talked to her on the phone, she did not have a Facebook, he never had plans with her to meet up, and there were no birth certificates or burial records for her, even back in September. Shouldn’t someone have discovered this earlier? Some journalists they are at ESPN. When it all comes down to it, it is still to early to decide whether he is lying or not. If he truly thought she was real and said all that stuff about her family, then I feel he was too embarrassed to admit he was involved in an online relationship.

If it is proven that he did not it was a scam, just to gain attention, then I think his draft stock will plummet. The guys over at “Catfish” on MTV should be involved with this. After all, they get to the bottom of things every episode. At least we can enjoy the memes that come out of it.