Puligese: T’eo looks bad from any perspective

Joseph Puligese

Notre Dame star linebacker, captain and Heisman trophy runner up Manti T’eo has been caught up in a big controversy over the past few weeks.  Apparently the girlfriend that T’eo had been seeing for the last couple of years and the same one that had died the same day as his grandmother, from leukemia is not real!  This brought about a firestorm of criticism and backlash for the star.  What was believed to be a truly sad and inspirational story has been turned into the punch line of every bad joke since Mark Sanchez fumbled into Brandon Moore’s rear.

People now debate on how much T’eo actually knew about the hoax.  Notre Dame fans and the school are taking T’eo’s side of the story; which is that he knew nothing about the hoax put on by his best friend.  T’eo claims that he is a victim and someone that has been fooled by a sick and twisted hoax.  Others like me believe that he was in on the whole thing.  My opinion is how could someone, especially a captain of a football team be dating a girl he has never met before, and even further more never even seen?  In today’s day and age I recognize the fact that technology makes it much easier to have a long distance relationship, in this case it would have been T’eo at Notre Dame and his “girlfriend” Lennay Kakua who went to Stanford.  However I do not think it is possible to maintain a real relationship without physically seeing someone at least once.  They never met at all, skyped, sent pictures to each other? That to me is extremely hard to believe.

Do I think he meant any harm by this, no I do not?  I thought it was something that he thought he could inspire his teammates and use motivation to play harder on the field.  But I feel his character is now questionable, and also his intelligence if he is actually the victim.  A middle linebacker and captain is supposed to be the general of the defense, how is he able to lead a defense if he falls for something like this.  I think either way victim or planner he looks bad.