We’re in the early stages of digesting this Deadspin story on Manti Te’o and the story of his dead girlfriend Lennay Kekua. The allegation from Deadspin is that Kekua never existed and the whole story of her tragic death was a sick hoax. Deadspin’s reporting seems pretty ironclad. You have to read it to get the full picture. The summary is this: Manti Te’o was involved, on some level, in perpetuating a lie about a woman who never existed. It’s possible that, initially, Te’o was himself the victim of a hoax. But over time Te’o became invested in this lie and helped to perpetuate it. Bottom line being, Manti Te’o’s inspirational backstory is largely fabricated. A lie. And he was involved in putting this lie out there.
We’ll see where this story goes from here. At this moment it looks very bad for Te’o. It also looks bad for the media who were only too happy to go along with his “inspirational” tale even though it was made up. There will be a lot of fall-out from this, for Te’o, for the press, for Notre Dame. Later on we’ll have to discuss how this might impact Te’o’s draft stock. Viking fans have had their eye on this guy for awhile as someone who could upgrade the linebacker talent. But now? I’m not sure Te’o is a Rick Spielman sort of guy. And character was always seen as one of Te’o’s strengths. Not so much now.