Te’o tells Couric he lied


The gist of the on-camera interview given by Manti Te’o to Katie Couric seems to be the same as the primary content of the off-camera interview given by Te’o to ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap.  But the result is definitely being sold differently.

Schaap, when sharing the information and perceptions from his 2.5-hour sit-down with Te’o, opened by vouching for the player’s credibility.  Eventually, Schaap got around to the fact that Te’o lied to his father about meeting his fake dead girlfriend.  In contrast, the primary takeaway of Couric’s Te’o interview, as demonstrated by a segment included in Wednesday’s Good Morning America and characterized by the Associated Press, was that Te’o lied.

That’s the headline, ironically appearing now on ESPN.com:  “Manti Te’o tells Katie Couric he lied.”

The fact that Schaap’s interview didn’t create the same headline tells us all we need to know about the back-room back-scratching that resulted in ESPN getting to talk to Te’o away from cameras before he submitted to a televised interview with Couric, Oprah, or Dr. Phil.  (According to the New York Times, those were the three finalists for the first televised TV interview, which is definitely better than having the first non-televised TV interview.)

In the end, it appears that the Te’o camp played ESPN, and that everyone lost.  Per the New York Times, the initial tip to ESPN came from Te’o’s agent, and the facts support a reasonable inference that ESPN believed it was more likely to get a Te’o interview if ESPN waited until having quotes from Te’o before reporting the story, even if those quotes weren’t given on camera.  So ESPN tapped the brakes for the sake of a “get,” creating an opportunity for Deadspin to beat Bristol to the punch and to tell the story first, telling it in a way that made Te’o look worse than if ESPN had broken the news.  Then, ESPN treated Te’o delicately, asking him the right questions so that Bobby Knight couldn’t take any more shots at Schaap, but still burying the lede within a lengthy transcript and on-air monologue from the interviewer.

The full Couric interview with Te’o will be televised on Thursday.  Which means that I now have to figure out exactly where to find it on my cable system.

44 responses to “Te’o tells Couric he lied

  1. He’s a liar and Bama exposed him as ineffective against NFL caliber players. Good luck kid.

  2. just bizarre. i wouldn’t touch this guy with a ten foot pole in the first few rounds of the draft.

  3. we all knew he was lying, i think he needs to come out of the closet, that’s all, and he created this whole story, when he fact he was just talking with the other guy.

  4. When you’re in on the hype as deeply as ESPN was, you have to go all the way with it. Their pride/ego/arrogance forbids their ever saying, “Hey, we were played and we played it up, we were wrong, we went along with the legend because it sounded soooo good.”

    Couric, Oprah, Dr. Phil. The heavy hitters of the “news” industry. Way to make yourself look like you’re hiding something, Te’uh-oh. Until you sit down on camera with one of the real news hardcases asking the hard questions, you’ll be considered guilty as you-know-where.

  5. Didn’t think Katie was going to pressure The Golden Boy!! Good Luck in the NFL when the fans, players and media rip you a new one

  6. Still doesn’t explain why his parents lied about meeting her. Still doesn’t explain why he lied about meeting her. Why he continued to play along or why when he found out he didn’t come forward till deadspin broke the story. Point is he is a liar I can’t for the life of me understand why a man he was friends with carried on a hoax since dude was a freshman lol none of it makes sense I’m fairly sure all this time of silence was his people telling the people involved hey you say that you lied you’ll be rewarded.

  7. To me, Te’o’s explanation has a degree of credibility.

    When people lie they try to wrap up all the details to cover themselves and make themselves look good. The fact that Te’o looks less than good in his recounting suggests to me a degree of truth.

    Imagine that you’ve been duped for several months – a dupe of humiliating proportions that the entire nation, your teammates, schoolmates and your coaches think is real.

    You find out one day in December you’ve been duped – and happen to have TV interviews scheduled.

    Do you use that interview to go way off topic, immediately divulge everything you know, blow the whistle on yourself as an idiot who was duped and an unknown “dupster” – or do you hold off (which would mean being untruthful) to buy time to figure out what transpired so you can set the record straight later on?

    If it were me, I’d probably try to buy myself some time, figure out what happened, and then tell all once I knew all. (And yes, that would mean lying in the interview)

    Reality is messy – the fact that this story is messy suggests that he may be telling the truth.

  8. I’m not gonna watch it, don’t know why I’d give a narcissistic punk time out of my day beyond this. He might as well have claimed he had cancer and started soliciting donations.

  9. Seriously man, I just don’t care. The media loves this story but its not interesting to myself or any of my friends. A young guy lied because he liked the attention he was getting. Really? Wow. Big news.

  10. Who the F&#* cares? Seriously, why does this story have so much traction? He is a dumb kid who did something stupid…big effing surprise. Ray Lewis is involved in the murder of a man and everyone treats him like a goddamn saint…Te’o conjures a dead girlfriend from thin air and you’d think it was Richard Nixon getting a hummer from Monica Lewinsky while trying to ban assault rifles. Move along people…nothing to see here!

  11. Wow! still talking about this story….get a life people. College kids have done much worst than this and nobody talks about that for weeks at a time. let it go nobody cares, except the notre dame haters

  12. The thing this episode has highlighted is Catfishing. Too many people are exploited by the internet. Their nativity and gullibilities are exposed for all the world to see.

    Especially kids. Teen girls posting pics of themselves to someone only to wind up on the internet for everyone!

    It’s just a shame that the topic came during this controversial situation. Otherwise, it is a good topic of conversation to have with your kids!

  13. So he lied to his father. shocking. he’s a 22yr old kid. what kid doesn’t lie to their parents. I hardly think this should brand him as a habitual liar. hilarious that the sports media that never gets anything right is has the gaul to brand anyone a liar.

  14. Something rubs me the wrong way about saying “The Three Finalists?”

    This dude is not Sully Sullenberger. He is not a hero. He is on some level a liar.

    And these reports are lining up kissing his butt hoping for the interview. Not to tell the story but to build their brand.

    I wish Mike Wallace were still around to hammer at Te’o in an interview.

    When I think hard hitting Katie Couric does not come time mind.

  15. This story is everywhere because media thinks it a big story. Most fans really don’t really care and I’m sure that football organizations will go off of his game tape. Maybe he drops a round but I watched that happen with Rams CB Jenkins to an even higher degree Vontaze Burfceit. Both are producing at a high level. I’m pretty sure this kid will be that kind of player at the next level.

  16. You still use Cable TV? Time to wake up in the 21st century Florio and get a Dish. All “real” sports fans have DirecTV, what’s your excuse?

  17. Personally, I believe that athletes should be able to shoot journalists if they come within 100 feet of them. Once the scumbag media decides to attack a person, the media will spin the story in every way possible to screw the target. The public has no clue where the truth is. They just know that journalists are bullying hate mongers who should be viewed and not seen.

  18. Hey te’o wasn’t duped for several months. He has been talking to this fake person since he was a freshman lol the guy is a liar. I would be embarrassed if I were fooled for 3-4 years and called someone I have never ever seen in real life the live of my life lol. All I know is MTV should get tuiossossopo a gig on pinked because to carry this on for years and get all these different people involved is classic. Lol’ing at te’o you chump it’s 2013 nobody gets tricked by the old 80’s chat room gag of yes I’m a model but I can’t meet I’m shooting in Milan ha haha ha ha what a Maroon.

  19. I wish this guy would stop! Well…. At least til he drops done to the SKINS in the second round!! Go on Maury and tell your story. It will only help you. Wink, wink. HTTR!!!

  20. So he’s a young kid who got caught up something and lied about it. That doesn’t make it right, but when you look at all the dog killers (Michael Vick), baby mama killers (Jovan Beltran), murderers (Ray Lewis), and other drug-abusing alcoholics (too many to list), this seems rather pale by comparison. If we start choosing our NFL players based on character, we won’t have anything to watch any more, now will we?

  21. The kid thought he had a really hot girlfriend until he found out differently. So, how is that abnormal? Many get fooled online and that is hardly worth a big news story.

  22. Wow More Breaking News…. Teo was Catfished & Lied because he was Embarressed about it.. Man Stop the presses…. Oh Wait a minute. We’ve known that for a while?. Oh Ok Never Mind. On a Serious Note. When do the Apologoies start rolling in to Teo For Dragging his Name Through the Mud…. Case Closed Let the Kid Live his Life. Unless the Inspector Clouseau’s out there dig up something else… It’s Over Haters… Have a wonderfull day……….Go Irish

  23. The problem is that he well could have concocted this story to gain sympathy in order to be awarded the Heisman trophy, which is eventually worth millions of dollars to the winner. That’s where this story becomes more than just a lie……it becomes a sinister attempt to manipulate the voting for the award. Glad it didn’t work. This guy needs psychological help……Quick. He’s a severe attention hound.

  24. I still believe that initially Te’o was sharing something personal with his life and the media ran with story — had they just taken 30 minutes to do a background search they would have found that this woman did not exist.

    It’s also unfair to call Te’o a narcissist, seeing as how the media gave him the platform to speak after continuously running his story. There was absolutely no way that Te’o would have confessed back in December, especially during the Heisman ceremony, where the entire country — AND his school – were watching. It would have been embarrassing for him, his family, and his school, and would have taken the focus off the ceremony itself. I’d venture as far as to say he would have been selfish for doing that.

    Now the same people want an explanation, thus giving him a platform AGAIN, when it was their lack of journalistic integrity to at least do some kind of research that would have debunked his story. They placed him on a pedestal, they tugged at America’s heart-strings, and now they want to villify him?

    Even the girl whos photo was used said herself that Tuiasosopo confessed to her and Te’o was not involved. Others close to the situation have said the same thing.

    So what can he really do?

  25. Isnt that ambiguous?

    Are they saying he lied about the whole thing? Or just the part that loser schaap reported on?

    Because until someone gets him to tell the truth about the whole thing, including why he didnt go see her when she got in a car accident, diagnosed with cancer, or DIED (and no, him saying “it didnt cross my mind” isnt a valid answer), he should be treated like the tool that he is.

    Come clean and start rebuilding your reputation.

  26. yeah, a class act individual that happened to make a mistake..hes a heck of a lot better person than your boy Dez…pft, now theres someone who screamed for attention in all the wrong ways…

  27. Why would anyone take time out of their lives to watch this moron lying about a made up girlfriend? who gives a sh**. Ive got a life I won’t be among yous watching this moron and that moron who is doing the questioning.

  28. congratulations to nokoolaidcowboy, you hit the nail on the head; use this ridiculous situation as a lesson to kids. Setting a proper foundation is key with young ones. Work hard parents, at keeping open lines of communication with your children!

    As far as a sports story is concerned; how about the impending sanctions (without question) that are coming to Oregon just as “Chip” has a change of heart. Sportscaster in Philly on air said, it doesnt matter anymore what happen at OU, since Kelly is no longer employed there, he is an Eagle now!

    Reminds me of my other favorite escape artist, ‘Asswipe” Pete Carroll and his Heisman award “winner” and “returner” of same. And who could forget OJ Mayo and his mentor. USC loses two div 1 coaches at the same time?

    How about the “grayshirts” in the SEC? You all have enough to think about now, you can lay off the kid for a while.

    Remember the “media” and its sponsors are sincerely hoping you tune in to Katie. How about spending this hour with your kids, instead!

  29. I personally don’t believe that Te’o is as sinister as many suspect. If anything he is more on the dumb side than bright. He had better stick to football because I doubt that his brains will carry him very far in anything beyond that. Just my take.

    This whole dumb story has gotten blown way out of proportion to what it actually is.

  30. Let this story be a lesson to those who go online and look for possible deep and romantic relationships. The person on the other end may not be anything like what you are led to believe.

  31. Please make this go away. So weird and not worthy of all the press. So the kid was duped. Still very weird. Now the voice that was a man now back to a girl! I don’t care! Start talking about the other kids on the team. Start showing the acadamic standing of the school. Discuss something positive and stop this

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.