The ongoing saga of former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and the hoax of his online girlfriend is arguably the most bizarre sports story of the past decade. It’s so farfetched on so many different levels that one has to wonder if Te’o is sane. Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly sure thinks so, speaking up for his Heisman Trophy finalist, who will never play again at the college level. Kelly’s comments are right on par with what you would expect from a coach in this situation, but they can’t be true.
When asked if he sensed a difference in Te’o after the linebacker supposedly discovered his girlfriend wasn’t real just before the BCS National Championship Game, Kelly said he “didn’t sense it, really.” So basically he avoided the question before going on to say all these nice, corny things about Te’o in an attempt to avert the attention that failed miserably.
How could Kelly not see a difference in a player who thought the “love of his life” had died and then found out she never really existed? With the incredible mix of emotions (if the story is true) that Te’o must have been feeling, even a stranger could have sensed something wasn’t right with him. This bit by Kelly is a load of horse radish and that’s no knock against him because he’s sticking up for his player, but we all know the reality of the situation.
Te’o disappeared during the crushing loss to Alabama in the title game, so it was obvious on and off the field that something was bothering him. If, and only if, his side of the story is true, it’s easy to see why Te’o basically didn’t show up for his last collegiate game.