Deadspin has the oh-my-lord-you’re-not-going-to-believe-this story of the day (and quite possibly the year): “Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax.” The headline says it all while not even coming close to doing the absurd story the justice it deserves.
There was no Lennay Kekua. Lennay Kekua did not meet Manti Te’o after the Stanford game in 2009. Lennay Kekua did not attend Stanford. Lennay Kekua never visited Manti Te’o in Hawaii. Lennay Kekua was not in a car accident. Lennay Kekua did not talk to Manti Te’o every night on the telephone. She was not diagnosed with cancer, did not spend time in the hospital, did not engage in a lengthy battle with leukemia. She never had a bone marrow transplant. She was not released from the hospital on Sept. 10, nor did Brian Te’o congratulate her for this over the telephone. She did not insist that Manti Te’o play in the Michigan State or Michigan games, and did not request he send white flowers to her funeral. Her favorite color was not white. Her brother, Koa, did not inform Manti Te’o that she was dead. Koa did not exist. Her funeral did not take place in Carson, Calif., and her casket was not closed at 9 a.m. exactly. She was not laid to rest.
One of Deadspin’s sources says that he was “80 percent sure” that the whole thing was a PR stunt that Te’o was “in on.” Based solely on the story as written, it’s difficult to come up with what the options are for that other 20 percent. But Notre Dame is standing behind its guy. An unnamed source within the school told ESPN this evening that Te’o was vetted heavily when Notre Dame officials learned last month about the hoax, and said he believes Te’o was not involved.