Found January 16, 2013 on Fox Sports Detroit:
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- I really wanted to cast my first-place Heisman Trophy vote this season for Notre Dame linebacker Manti Teo. I closely followed Teo after watching him shut down Michigan State, 20-3, in a game that earned both the Fighting Irish and Teo national acclaim that September night. Despite the drubbing he put on Michigan State, the fans in Spartan Stadium showered him with love because they had heard the story -- that both his grandmother and, supposedly, his girlfriend had died during the week leading up to the game. Afterward, Teo said: It was hard. I lost a woman who I truly love, but I have a family around me and my football family. At the end of the day, families are forever, and I will see them again someday. Well, at least he might get to see his maternal grandmother, Annette Santiago, on the other side. The girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, according to a investigation, doesn't exist. Now we're left to wonder about the legacy of the player who led Notre Dame to the national championship game and became a campus hero for loving the Irish experience. He stayed for his senior year rather than jumping to the NFL and stood for values that often feel lost these days. On Wednesday, it was Teo who seemed lost. Deadspin reported that there are official death records for Santiago, but in researching Kekua, the publication could find no evidence of her death, the serious car accident Teo said she was involved in or even her birth. Photographs used for Twitter and Instagram accounts attributed to Kekua were confirmed to be of someone else. In a statement released Wednesday, Teo said: "This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her. "To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating. "It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of my grandmother's death in September were in any way deepened by what I believed to be another significant loss in my life. "I am enormously grateful for the support of my family, friends and Notre Dame fans throughout this year. To think that I shared with them my happiness about my relationship and details that I thought to be true about her just makes me sick. I hope that people can understand how trying and confusing this whole experience has been. "In retrospect, I obviously should have been much more cautious. If anything good comes of this, I hope it is that others will be far more guarded when they engage with people online than I was. "Fortunately, I have many wonderful things in my life, and I'm looking forward to putting this painful experience behind me as I focus on preparing for the NFL Draft." Is Teo, who's expected to go high in the first round of the draft, the victim of an elaborate hoax? Or does he have a highly active imagination? Time will sort that out. For now, we're left to wonder what else might not be true about Teo. Was this Mormon from Laie, Hawaii, who said he chose a Catholic college based on a revelation from God, making that up, too? I hope not. Notre Dame reacted to the story with the following statement from spokesman Dennis Brown: On Dec. 26, Notre Dame coaches were informed by Manti Te'o and his parents that Manti had been the victim of what appears to be a hoax in which someone using the fictitious name Lennay Kekua apparently ingratiated herself with Manti and then conspired with others to lead him to believe she had tragically died of leukemia. The University immediately initiated an investigation to assist Manti and his family in discovering the motive for and nature of this hoax. While the proper authorities will continue to investigate this troubling matter, this appears to be, at a minimum, a sad and very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators. But why would anyone set up Teo this way? And why would Notre Dame keep this under wraps until the schools hero and the school itself were made to look like frauds? Im sure that Irish coach Brian Kelly didnt want it to be a distraction for the national championship game against Alabama; however, that game was played and lost nine days before the Deadspin report came out. Why, in the name of Touchdown Jesus, didnt Notre Dame come clean on this strange story? Something Teo said about not going to funeral services for Kekua after beating Michigan in the next game certainly didnt ring true. "You know, I really wanted to see her," Te'o said at the time. "I really wanted to see her, but I knew that she made me promise. You know one day she made me promise that, she said, 'Babe, if anything happens to me, you promise that you'll still stay over there and that you'll play and that you'll honor me through the way you play, and know that I would rather have you there.' And just make sure that all she wanted was some white roses. White is her favorite color. "So she just wanted some white roses, and that's all she asked for. So I sent her roses and sent her two picks (interceptions) along with that, so that was good." If that was the love of my life, I would have skipped a game -- even one against Michigan -- and gone to her funeral. So what that Teo badly wanted a victory after losing during the final seconds to the Wolverines the previous year. It's still just a game versus the funeral of his beloved girlfriend. Back to that game in September at Spartan Stadium. After watching it from the press box, I wrote: How do you play with a heavy heart? If you are Notre Dame inside linebacker Manti Teo, you play the game of your life against Michigan State. That night, Teo finished atop the Notre Dame tackle totals with 12, shared the lead with two pass break-ups and recovered the games lone fumble. It is a great escape, Teo said afterward. I will be honest. Throughout the game, you are thinking about it. But football allows me to be in a little realm, a little world that I know. I can honor them by the way I played. It was for them for my girl and grandma. And for all my loved ones who have passed on. They are all watching. It was a happy moment. I was so impressed with the character and skill hed displayed that I began to root for Teo. You very well may have, too. In the end, though, I voted him second behind Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel on my Heisman ballot. I couldn't ignore the fact that Manziel had broken all the Southeastern Conference total-offense records and helped hand Alabama its only loss -- in Tuscaloosa, no less. I went with what I could see. I voted with my head rather than with my heart. Now I feel much better about doing so in this case. But I feel a little sad, too, because maybe I wont consider my heart next time.

Notre Dame teammates already turning on Manti Te’o?

Following the bombshell investigative report from Deadspin on the hoax of a story that was the tragic death of Manti Te’o's girlfriend, we have our first story about a Notre Dame teammate calling Te’o a liar. According to Pepper on Sports, an anonymous teammate of Te’o's has come forward to say that the several members of the team didn’t think everything was kosher...

Next Media Animation reports on Manti Te’o

New career goal: get name-dropped in a Taiwan Animation video.With the exception of WWE doing a Lennay Kekua/Little Jimmy joke on Monday, the most predictable thing to come from the reaction to Deadspin’s Manti Te’o I LOVE MUH DEAD GIRLFRIEND story is the response from Next Media Animation. Sometimes life lobs a ball in their direction, and it’s their job to do a bunch of...

Manti Te’o issues statement regarding fake girlfriend

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o came out and issued a statement regarding the report by Deadspin that he lied about having a girlfriend that died from leukemia. “This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating...

New Shirts Mocking Manti Te’o Take Internet By Storm

By now, you’ve heard that Manti Te’o, Notre Dame’s defensive version of Tim Tebow, had a girlfriend who died only hours after his grandmother passed in September before one of the Irish’s biggest games, on the road against Michigan State.   By now, you’ve also heard that the whole thing was a hoax. It’s still … Continue reading »

So Manti Te'o Did Claim He Met His Girlfriend Lennay Kekua in Person

So basically everyone should know by now that Manti Te'o is lying through his teeth to protect his draft stock right????  Well, at least that's my opinion, which will hopefully be fact soon.  Here is the article via the south bend tribune that says Te'o met his girlfriend after their game against Stanford.  She was claimed to be a student there.  It never...

Team to hold Te'o bobblehead night

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Minor league team to have "Manti Te'o Girlfriend Bobblehead Day"

We've seen our share of silly minor league promotions, but this one might take the cake. The independent Florence Freedom will be having a "Manti Te'o Girlfriend Bobblehead Day" during a game in late-May, making light of the ridiculous scandal in recent days involving Notre Dame's star linebacker. With the promotion, the first 1,000 fans entering the stadium...

Manti Te’o Releases New eHarmony Ad (video)

Manti Te’o has been through Hell and back regarding his girlfriend..or the girl who was supposed to be his girlfriend…or a guy who was pretending to be a girl online to be his girlfriend. Whatever the case may be, Te’o isn’t letting the nay-sayers get the best of him.   The good people of Funny … Continue reading »

Notre Dame: Manti Te'o victim of hoax

South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - The Notre Dame athletic department has issued a statement responding to a internet report that is claiming details of star linebacker Manti Te'o's personal life have been fabricated.The discrepancy involves Te'o's former girlfriend Lennay Marie Kekua, whose widely reported death from leukemia in September helped make the Heisman Trophy...

Top 10 takeaways from Manti Te'o Fake Dead Girlfriend Gate

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The Manti Te'o mystery only produces questions, not answers

I've been trying to wrap my mind around this Manti Te'o mystery for 16 hours since the report by Tim Burke and Jack Dickey was published on Deadspin.  Incredibly, that single story has almost 3 million hits in less than a day.  It has captured the sports world like no story I can ever remember.  It's made Lance Armstrong's groundbreaking interview with Oprah airing...

Tweets connect Ronaiah Tuiasosopo to Lennay Kekua hoax

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o had a fake girlfriend. The story by Deadspin published on Wednesday first asserted that, and Notre Dame confirmed it in a press conference later in the day. At this point we know that Te’o lied in some capacity about the story. He either: a) Was part of the hoax and lied for some twisted reason (Deadspin reports his motivation was to gain publicity...
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