Manti Te'o's LDS bishop shares his thoughts

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24 2013 1:35 p.m. MST

Our take: Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune gets the thoughts of Manti Te'o's LDS bishop regarding his nonexistent girlfriend hoax.

SOUTH BEND — As much as Jim Carrier had dealt with the absurd in the past month, the Mormon bishop said he was still blind-sided by a recent interview request from People magazine.

That he is Manti Te'o's bishop and spiritual adviser helps explain the improbable coupling.

And, as one of the former Notre Dame football star's closest confidantes over the past nine months, Carrier wanted to come forward Monday with what he knew about Te'o's relationship with a woman who claimed to be Lennay Kekua.

Because Kekua's Sept. 12 death from leukemia turned out to be fake and that Deadspin.com originally suggested Te'o as being complicit in the hoax, Te'o has not only dominated sports headlines since Wednesday afternoon, his story has bled into places like Access Hollywood, TMZ, Inside Edition and now, apparently, People.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, Te'o himself and now Carrier have said that Te'o was the victim of a con, not a co-conspirator of it.

Among the details the 60-year-old bishop of the Notre Dame Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared on Monday was that Carrier, himself, talked to the person purporting to be Te'o's girlfriend many times on the phone, that he was the first person Te'o confided in once the alleged con was revived in December and that he is confident Te'o will one day put this chapter behind him, but that the rest of the world probably won't be able to.

"I talked to Manti on the phone on Saturday," said Carrier of the All-America linebacker, currently training at the IMG Compound in Bradenton, Fla., for next month's NFL Scouting Combine.

Read more about Notre Dame football: Bishop adds his perspective to Te'o's saga on South Bend Tribune.

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