Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o is in he middle of one of the biggest scandals to ever hit college football. While we are all trying to pick up the pieces of this story and figure out what exactly went down, Te’o stands behind his statement that he was the victim of a hoax and has yet to face the media publicly.
As more time passes, Te’o is beginning to look less and less like a victim and more like an individual who had some involvement in this disgusting hoax.
Te’o played up the story of his girlfriend to the nation and to his teammates. The story doesn’t add up to the public, but what about to those who were with Te’o every day in the team’s locker room? Well, it appears that they weren’t buying it either.
ESPN’s Bob Holtzman was speaking on College Football Live and he spoke with a teammate that said many in the locker room were suspicious of the story and Te’o played it up because he was enjoying the attention.
“I talked to a former Notre Dame teammate of Te’o’s today, who told me that most players always thought that this wasn’t really Te’o’s girlfriend,” Holtzman said, per Rotoworld. “And that they always suspected that this didn’t really add up with the story. [The teammate] also told me that Te’o loved the attention and that even though the story may not have been what it seemed to be, that he was more than happy to play along with it.”
The teammates comments make it seem increasingly likely that Te’o learned of the hoax far before anyone in the media caught wind of the story. While he could have come clean, he may have been embarrassed at first and played along so that he would spare himself the public shame. Eventually, the story became so big that it brought more attention to Te’o and fueled a Heisman campaign. That’s when it was too late to turn back and he decided to play along with the hoax.
All of that is speculation, but it seems like a reasonable explanation for how things went so wrong.
Unfortunately, Te’o has yet to face the public so we are left with more questions than answers. Those questions will hopefully be answered soon.