By now, just about everybody in this country has heard about Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o and how he may or may not have been the victim of a hoax involving the death of his girlfriend that didn’t exist in the first place.
All season, Te’o was the feel-good story of college football for his inspirational play on the football field after he lost his grandmother and girlfriend just hours apart one day in September. While the grandmother part of the story turned out to be true, it turns out his supposed girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, was nothing more than a made up person online–kind of like the popular show Catfish.
Apparently, someone pretended to be this “Lennay” character online before leading Te’o to believe she had passed away just hours after the death of his grandma. As bad as the timing may be, the facts surrounding this story just seem to get more bizarre by the day and now nobody seems to really know what’s real and what’s false.
Now, rumors are beginning to swirl that Te’o found out early on that Lennay wasn’t real, but decided to play along with the story to take advantage of his own fame considering the entire country seemed to be inspired by his play.
What Te’o accomplished this season as the leader of Notre Dame’s defense was nothing short of phenomenal as he led the Irish to the National Championship game before falling to the Alabama Crimson Tide. Unfortunately, his reputation will never be the same after this shady incident and it should be interesting to see what happens with his draft stock once April rolls around.