Te’o is still trying to decide how to proceed


On Wednesday night, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick did linebacker Manti Te’o no favors.  Apart from framing a Clintoneque question regarding the use by Te’o of the term “met,” Swarbrick said that Te’o would be addressing the situation regarding his fake dead girlfriend as soon as Thursday.

Thursday came and went, with no evidence that Te’o would be speaking.  Instead, reports that Te’o would submit to an interview with Jeremy Schaap of ESPN quickly yielded to reports that the interview had been scrapped.

Now, Schaap reports that Te’o spent time Friday morning working with a team of family members and advisers, in an effort to determine the best way to proceed.

“Grab a microphone and tell the truth” is the prevailing suggestion by the general public.

As we’ve explained.  It’s not quite that easy.  Te’o is young and, at best, sufficiently gullible to make Forrest Gump look like a bunko artist.  Even if Te’o is telling the truth, he may have a hard time telling the truth in a way that seems truthful.  Especially since he’ll be tiptoeing through a minefield of potential inconsistencies arising from things he has said and things members of his family have said.

Meanwhile, Shelley Smith of ESPN interviewed an anonymous female who claims that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo confessed to fooling Te’o in December.  The anonymous source tells Smith that Te’o was not involved in the hoax; another anonymous source separately told Deadspin that the source is “80 percent” certain that Te’o was aware of the hoax before the fake girlfriend’s fake death.

All we know at this point is that, with each passing hour, it’s becoming harder and harder to believe that Te’o was solely the victim.  Still, if it becomes harder to believe he’s the victim after he talks, it’s far better that he not talk at all.

45 responses to “Te’o is still trying to decide how to proceed

  1. http://www.maxpreps.com/athletes/4F37VvoUqkeSiuK1nRCuhQ/football-fall-05/profile-ronaiah-tuiasosopo.htm



    Wow, backup QB causing all of this fuss? This guy didnt have an athletic bone in his body, wishes he was his cousins Matt and Zach Tuiasosopo and wanted to feel like he was a somebody. Fact is, dude is a straight up loser that is/was trying to make someone else look bad. Note to Ronaiah, you officially suck!

  2. I don’t think there are many questions left to be answered that we cannot figure out ourselves. He was the victim of the initial hoax. When she “died” he went along with the girlfriend angle because he like the attention. He probably found out shortly after her “death” that she didn’t exist but out of pure embarrasment (and he should be embarrased) he did not go public with anything. He probably was just hoping the story would never get legs. He was wrong.

  3. Who cares? His 15 minutes are up! Move on.

    If this happened at Eastern Kentucky, would we still be hearing about it?

    If he’s too dumb to realize he could have any coed at Notre Dame, he’s too dumb for the NFL!

  4. Devil’s Advocate for a second here. Let’s say you discover something that, if made public, would be humiliating (just an example: you got taken for five figures by an online scam artist in a foreign country). You know you screwed up, but you don’t want your friends and family knowing. If given the opportunity to set the record straight, would you do so?

    That question implies that Te’O was at least initially a victim of a hoax, rather than an orchestrator of the hoax.

    Not a Notre Dame fan, not trying to contort the logic to defend him. Just saying, *if* this is what happened, and it happened to you or I, how would you handle it?

  5. He was fooled, by the time he had figured it out he was in real deep with teammates, media etc. he perpetuated the lie due to embarrassment and not letting people down. Downward spiral in which he had to lie to not lose face etc.

  6. Son, just stand in front of the mics and cameras and tell the TRUTH. Spit it out, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. If you do, the story goes away in 48 hours. Otherwise, it stays with you forever. It amazes me how many public figures never understand that the American public is forgiving….if you simply tell the truth sooner rather than later.

  7. It doesn’t take days to come out and tell the truth…

    The longer he meets with people trying to figure out what to do, the more people will not believe what he’s going to say.

  8. Pretty sure he was waiting because he knew Smith, and other real reporters would find information backing his claims, and painting the perps in a negative light. Better to have the tide turning in your favor when you talk than to be thrown to the wolves.

  9. He surely did not have any problems preening for the press over the past three years. From what I have read he is a rather astute media darling.

  10. This is sad and it’s clear he’s getting bad advice because at present time negativity is swirling and he has shown no capacity to insert the proper strategy to handle the situation. Other young athletes should be careful when signing up with Tom Condon, or this is what you get, confusion since Te’o’s best interest does not necessarily line up with what’s best for the agent. These people don’t work for their clients first, they work for themselves first and when you put your trust and faith into the hands of a shark, then be prepared to have to swim in dangerous waters and be perceived by many to be like the crowd you choose to swim with.

    Te’0 should reexamine his entire situation because he has only one shot to make a first impression about what kind of man he truly is when the moments are at their biggest. Is he a man of integrity and a great leader and role model, or is he a bigshot businessman that is prone to making calculated mistakes?

  11. It wouldn’t happen to “you or I”. This is a situation only someone seeking or otherwise obtaining notoriety. Absolutely none of the facts suggest this guy was the unwitting victim of a hoax from start to finish.

  12. Possibly he was fooled at the very beginning but at some point he found out and signed on with the hoax which is when all the good stuff like the car wreck and leukemia came out. NOBODY was talking to him for hours and hours on the phone every night, falling asleep with the call still going. And NOBODY falls in love and never goes to see the other person in the hospital or attend their funeral.

    And if Manti wasn’t in on it, why’d he say he’d met her face-to-face? And why would so much time be taken to convince his family the girl was real? The dad and brother have both said she was texting and calling them all the time. That only makes sense if Manti was behind it.

  13. Hold on a min…how do you know he was part of the hoax or carried on with it? Some of you seem very eager to hang him which leads me to believe your not unbiased jurors.

  14. Remember Teo, as George Costanza said “its not a lie if you believe it”. so get out there and lie, cry, and look generally pathetic and you will be forgiven.

  15. Why is it taking him so long to speak? ….well, that’s simple…..it’s REALLY hard to come up with a lie that makes all of the other lies seem as if they weren’t lies

  16. My money is on that he made up the story to hide the fact that he is gay…. Just my 2 cents… Could be wrong but it’s the only scenario that makes any sense…

  17. Last question, why did Tuiasosopo do it? What was the motivation? And if it was just a joke, why take it for years deep and why tell Te’o she died 6 hrs after their Grandma died??? Why not just come clean? I don’t think it’s over yet.

  18. Come out the Saturday before SuperBowl Sunday. No one will care come Sunday.

    I’ll take you in the 4th rd. thanks.

  19. In reality, what really happened is none of our business. Manti is a private citizen and his personal life should be private as well.

    But, we already know too much. Trying to put the toothpaste back into the tube is futile. Face the nation Manti, stand up, tell the whole truth and let the healing process begin.

  20. Come on, stop letting him off the hook. He knew all along. Him and his buddy made this entire thing up for publicity and I bet they thought is was funny. NO WAY HE DIDN’T KNOW!

  21. The truth may be a complicated matter for this young man but the mistake of not getting out in front of it to begin with may have caused the most damage.

    Compounding the damage is the faux-confident (read: BS) and over-the-top backing from ND (including, IMO, faux tears/emotion during the press conference) and the mealy-mouthed victimhood statement from Te’o that came out as a response to the breaking story.

    At this point he should just stop talking to the media. He knows that interested franchises are going to ask about the issue during the combine and thru the draft and that’s when he should take the opportunity to redeem himself with a candid explanation of the how, what, and whys.

    In the media, the story is out of control; to coaches who are interested in him as a player, he can be honest.

  22. If Te’o is truly innocent, my advice to him would be do not do an interview. Rather, my advice would be to assemble a top-notch legal team coupled with forensic computer experts to sue everyone involved in this sordid mess into the ground. I’d be in court Monday morning with emergency motions for orders to preserve all computers and forensic computer data. I would ask for an Emergency Order barring Tuiasosopa from having any contact or communications with Te’o or his family directly or by proxy. I would then have the lawyers hold a press conference with Te’o by their sides, explaining that the truth will come out through the litigation process. At worst, this buys Te’o at least a year before having to say anything publicly about the matter.

  23. I have to assume his lack of response has to do with them being unable to find this Ron T kid.

    I’d like to know who Regan was talking about and who’s family is he close with?

  24. Two things, either he got hoaxed and when it went public he didn’t know how to get out of it or he knew all along and liked the attention and the sympathy vote for the Heisman was going way up. Either way just tell the truth and people will forget it. Bet Lance is loving this, steers attention away from him.

  25. Swarbrick may be the biggest buffoon in this whole affair. He needlessly exposed ND to fallout by claiming they’d investigated and decided Te’o was totally clear in this. (Too bad the “investigation” missed the fact that Manti was still talking about the girl days after he’d been let in on the hoax.)

    And, while trying to cover for the kid, he paints him into a corner where he’s now expected to provide answers to all the questions he can’t plausibly answer. Well done, Swarbrick. Can’t be too long before they fire you.

  26. blacknole08 says:
    Jan 18, 2013 4:05 PM
    And with each passing hour, more people are starting to care less and less about Te’o and more about the 3-day weekend and football on Sunday!


    Wake me when there is some news.

  27. Regardless of what Notre Dame is trying to put out there and what their fans hopelessly believe, Te’o knew and, here is the key point, kept it going.

    Question is how long did he know and why did he keep it going.

    Feel bad for him all you want..but this doesn’t absolve him of blame

  28. A source close to the family just said that Manti and Lennay will have a press conference the second Tuesday of next week standing on top of Touchdown Jesus. It’s true I read it on the internet…..

  29. Amazing. If Te’o tells the truth, but it’s not what you believe happened, then he must be lying. He’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. If Tuiososopo comes out and says Manti had nothing to do with it, then obviously he was paid by the Te’o family or Notre Dame. Again… where is the incentive for Te’o to speak? He’s already been tried, convicted and hung… just like the Duke lacrosse players were.

  30. Mike Florio:
    “Te’o is young and, at best, sufficiently gullible to make Forrest Gump look like a bunko artist.”

    Te’o is no innocent little kid. This is a grown man who comes from the streets just like most people do. He knows right from wrong. He also knows when he is being dishonest. He claimed to have met Lannay Kekua after the Stanford game in 2009. He spoke with her all night after her accident in April of last year while she was in a coma and after.

    He always spoke of her in generalities. He didn’t know her major, he didn’t know if she graduated in 2010 or 2011. Many, many more examples are out there. I didn’t just fall of the turnip truck Te’o. Neither did half of the public.

    I like how his father was in touch with his girlfriends brother and family a number of times yet now he says he knows nothing about them.

    This was a hoax to score sympathy for the Heisman just like it was kept quiet about Johnny Manziel’s arrest last June for disorderly conduct (a street fight), improperly identifying
    himself to the police and then possessing a fake ID, a Louisiana drivers license. Manziel has these unresolved charges still pending.

    Collin Klein is the only honest one of the 3 finalists and he finished 3rd. It just shows that in this country today, honesty is not always the best policy as people cheat to get ahead and are not held accountable. Ah, what a country.

  31. “Teo is young” so that somehow explains why he’s so incredibly naive? Loved your Forrest Gump line – Forrest would have talked Manti out of his lunch money their first day at college.

    Manti isn’t young….he’s 22……other 22 year olds have spent 3-4 years in combat or holding down full-time jobs and feeding their families. What is this guy’s problem?

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