With each passing hour that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o remains silent regarding the hoax he claims via a written statement was perpetrated on him, the initial impressions formed by members of the public harden.
And even more information is surfacing to persuade those who are undecided to make up their minds.
The latest comes from Bob Holtzman of ESPN, who reported on College Football Live (via Rotoworld.com) that Te’o's teammates at Notre Dame sensed that something was amiss regarding the claims of a girlfriend who died in September.
“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. “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.”
This report suggests that, while the relationship may have begun as a hoax, Te’o played along with it, given that it helped create attention and, ultimately, sympathy.
Anyone who is inclined to be sympathetic to Te’o now needs to hear from him, so that they can justify feeling that way. He needs to talk, and he needs to do it as soon as possible.