The college football world is no doubt the most talked about sport right now. Why? The star player for Notre Dame Manti Te’o seems to have been a victim of a real life catfish situation.
Before I go any further, a ‘catfish situation’ is a term based of the hit MTV reality show about online daters who wish to meet the object of their virtual affections, but something is usually a lie about the other person, be it they aren’t the person in their profile picture or any number of strange things.
Back in September, Sports Illustrated printed the inspirational story about Te’o helping his team restore a little glory to Notre Dame’s struggling football program in spite of losing his grandmother and girlfriend within a six hour span of each other. It was said that Te’o’s girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, had died of leukemia after surviving a serious car accident. Te’o told anyone who would listen that he received word Kekua had died and he didn’t go to the funeral because she insisted he honor her by playing in whatever game was scheduled.
However, we all found out yesterday the whole story was a hoax. There was never any Lennay Kekua. Manti Te’o and Notre Dame both released statements saying their star linebacker had been the victim of a horrible prank that went awry. While the college institution and law enforcement investigate the origins of the alleged prank, I saw three red flags when I read Deadspin.com’s article about the hoax.
First, Te’o is described as a devout Mormon. Second, Te’o and Kekua were supposedly together for a little over a year and had only met once at a football game against Stanford University. Kekua was said to have been a student there. Stanford has no record of Kekua ever enrolling or even applying to the school. Lastly, friends of the mysterious Lennay Kekua said every time he would tweet about where she would be, she wouldn’t be there but a young man named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo would. In fact, Tuiasosopo and Te’o are close family friends and Tuiasosopo comes from a big football family.