Explosive news has come out about Notre Dame’s gifted defensive player Manti Te’o. Te’o was the linebacker that America fell in love with. He went through tragedy at the beginning of the season and led his team defensively to an undefeated season and to a BCS Championship game. On September 11, 2012, Te’o was set out to play Michigan State with his teammates when he got some of the worst news of his life.
Te’o’s grandmother had passed away and later on he found out his girlfriend, Lennay Marie Kekua, was killed in a serious car accident. She had already been diagnosed with leukemia in June 2012. Everyone’s heart went out to him and was captivated with his poise on the field when his team upset Michigan State 20-3. He was a true vision of strength and will. Well, it turns out things are not always as they appear….
Te’o’s grandmother did pass away which is absolutely tragic, BUT Lennay Marie Kekua was never his ‘girlfriend’ and she never died that day. Deadspin has uncovered one of the craziest stories in sports. The pictures of Kekua that have been used by the media came from a California girl whose name has not be made public. Kekua and Te’o did not meet in 2009, in fact his Twitter account states that they met much later in 2011. Kekua was allegedly created by one of Te’o’s friends, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Tuiasosopo has done tricked other people with the Kekua account, but it was only brought to light because of Te’o’s rise to fame.
So… Lennay Kekua did not meet Te’o, did not have leukemia, did not get in a car accident, and she was never laid to rest. Whoa and we all thought MTV’s show Catfish was crazy? So did this girl/guy “Catfish” Te’o or did he set up this elaborate plan to garner sympathy from America. If Te’o did come up with this story he is one wild imagination, too much time on his hands, and he is to blame for the blowout his team suffered against Alabama in the BCS Championship game. We definitely need an Oprah interview for this mess of a situation. I can’t wait to see how the Te’o family handles this situation…
Notre Dame has released this statement, “Notre Dame coaches informed Dec 26 by Manti Te’o & parents Manti had been victim of what appears to be a hoax. Lennay Kekua apparently ingratiated herself w/Manti & then conspired w/others to lead him believe she had tragically died of leukemia. Proper authorities continue to investigate, this appears to be, at minimum, a sad & very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators.”
Te’o issued this statement shortly after claiming that he was just a victim of a hoax and had no hand in the prank:
“This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her. To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating. It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of my grandmother’s death in September were in any way deepened by what I believed to be another significant loss in my life. I am enormously grateful for the support of my family, friends and Notre Dame fans throughout this year. To think that I shared with them my happiness about my relationship and details that I thought to be true about her just makes me sick. I hope that people can understand how trying and confusing this whole experience has been. In retrospect, I obviously should have been much more cautious. If anything good comes of this, I hope it is that others will be far more guarded when they engage with people online than I was. Fortunately, I have many wonderful things in my life, and I’m looking forward to putting this painful experience behind me as I focus on preparing for the NFL Draft.”
Thank you Deadspin for bringing this story to forefront.
Its the final BCS bowl game and it looks to be a good one. Top ranked Notre Dame looks to stop Alabama’s run of winning the National Championship. Nick Saban has led his team to the title three years in the last four. One person standing in Alabama’s way is Heisman candidate Manti Te’o. Skip Bayless went out to predict he will be the next Ray Lewis. They will need him to have Ray Lewis type performance to stop the Irish’s running game.
This game should be a pretty close game with not much scoring. Even though most people are 100% confident in Roll Tide, I am going to have to go with Notre Dame. I think defense will win this game and I trust their defense more. This is going to be a great matchup to watch. Who holds up the glass football at the end? Notre Dame or Alabama, who you takin?
He was supposed to be the adorable, hard-working, and beloved football coach of PennState. Joe Paterno has been credited with building the PennState football empire. He was a great coach that players were honored to play for and a part of college football history. Unfortunately, all of that became unraveled in 2012. The biggest scandal ever in sports’ history broke when defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested for child molestation. As if that was not shocking enough, it was reported that he was raping the children on school property under Paterno’s nose.
Paterno held to his word that he had told his superior about Sandusky’s crimes, however, people felt that he needed to do more. Morally, absolutely he should have went to the police, but this when our nation realized that football programs are sometimes more important than morals. The Penn State ethics board was at a loss for the right course of action. They ultimately decided that everyone involved needed to be fired, including the beloved Joe Paterno. It was one of the biggest firings ever. It caused chaos on campus and a mixed reaction from the public. No matter what PennState did, they would have been in the wrong. Paterno’s legacy has forever been tarnished and Sandusky has been sent away to rot in jail. Unfortunately, the firing was too much for Paterno and he developed lung cancer and passed away not too long after. It is still one of the most shocking stories in which there were no clear winners.
Just in time for the holidays, is a great story of a young man overcoming his physical disability to play a sport that he loves. Landus Anderson is one of the best high school players in Florida. So what is so great about his story? Anderson has not been able to use his right arm since birth. At birth, the nerve that controls the right arm separated from the spinal cord. He is fully capable of doing every day things, such as driving. However, it was his talent on the court that caught everyone’s attention. He was averaging 19 points during his junior year which earned him an invite to play with Nike Team Florida. This was huge especially in Anderson’s quest for a college scholarship. Hopefully this is not the last that we have heard from Landus and he will make his dreams of playing for a Division 1 college come true. We are all rooting for him!
For the skeptics who don’t think this guy can ball, check him out:
Richard Pitino has left his father’s school, Louisville, and is looking to make a name for himself. Father and son square off tonight as Rich’s Florida International University visits fifth ranked Louisville tonight. It will be the first time these two face off. While, I do not expect this to be a close game as Louisville is one of the best in the country, it will be interesting to see how these two coach against each other. Rick Pitino is a legend, but I think Rich will try to give him a run for his money in some friendly competition. Expect these two to be extremely focused, but a very friendly embrace to end. It will be an emotional night for both coaches as it will be the night they honor Rick’s brother-in-law, Rich’s uncle, who was killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. I have not been doing too well in my predictions recently, but I feel confident that father will beat son tonight. Which Pitino you takin? Can the upset really happen?
Heeeeeeeeeere’s Johnny! Congrats go out to Johnny Manziel for being the first freshman in history to win the Heisman trophy. The Texas A & M quarterback is only the second player to win the award in the school’s history. Congrats to the other two finalists, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.
It was the result of the biggest scandal in college football history. Some people thought it was too severe, while others thought that with the nature of the crime the entire organization should be shut down. I am referring to the day that the NCAA announced Penn State’s punishment after the arrest of disgraced former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky for child rape.
The punishment included vacating ALL of Penn State’s wins between the years 1998-2011 which added up to 111 lost wins, a four year bowl game ban, the school took a massive cut in scholarships, and fined the school $60 million. It was the harshest punishment ever passed down by the NCAA. It punished former students, current students, and future students.
This entire was an incredibly emotional ride for everyone who was a fan of college football. Penn State was such a celebrated organization that collapsed so quickly. Was the punishment fair? There is no right answer because no matter what happened those little boys, who are now grown men, were violated in such an awful way that no punishment can undo.