The Manti Te’o saga is becoming more ridiculous by the day. The latest twist reveals that the girl who posed as his girlfriend on the phone, again called Te’o after her “death” to say that she had to fake her death to avoid drug dealers.
Te’o now says that he lied to his father about meeting the girl, thus providing a convenient excuse for his dad’s quotes about the pair meeting in person. Te’o has just been griled by ESPN on the whole episode (highlights here), so the release of his side of the story should answer some questions (or, probably, raise even more shadows over the entire saga). But the main question that needs to be addressed is this; are we supposed to believe that Te’o never met the girl that he called “the love of his life”? Are we supposed to swallow the fact that, for all the proclamations of undying love Te’o made, the pair never met in person?
In explaining why he has been quoted many times about meeting Kekua, ESPN reports that “Te’o said he “catered” his stories so people would think he met her before she passed away.”
The investigation is centering on a man called Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who reportedly confessed to orchestrating the Twitter hoax on Te’o. This guy may or may not be involved; but just because Ronaiah Tuiasosopo was behind it, doesn’t mean that Te’o is clean. Sources close to Te’o (unnamed sources, naturally) state that they were “80% sure” that Te’o was involved in the scheme.
Many close to Te’o raise his Mormon background and apparent inexperience in love as explanation as to why he didn’t think it was weird to have a girlfriend that he had never met. But even today, proof of Te’o having previous girlfriends is being raised – and being arguably the biggest college football star of 2012, it’s doubtful that he had trouble picking up girls.
This story is getting wilder by the day.