Story of Te'o girlfriend death apparently a hoax, Twitter reacts heavily to the news (+video)

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  • donn layton, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    RE: JParkerfan, Notre Dame has investigated this out or they wouldn't be circling the wagons. Yet Manti was considered but was he excluded because of questionable character or (LDS)non-Christian?

    The Vatican has invited top-tier Christian athletes Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin to help bring ethical values back to a scandal-ridden world of sports.

    Instead of sports being an activity that builds important values, respects human dignity and helps shape the whole human person, "it has reduced people to merchandise.

    U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong's admission to doping was just the tip of the iceberg, he said, since high-stakes commercial interests pressure almost every professional cyclist into the illegal practice. The world of cycling and soccer is "a world that is rotten,"

  • JParkerfan St. George, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    Very funny comments again.. It's obvious that Notre Dame has investigated this out or they wouldn't be circling the wagons. The independent investigation, one would expect, would include his phone records. Take a chill pill and let the facts come out. I see a lot of similarities here to the Duke case. Everyone wants to rush to judgement and convict athletes, before they have a chance to defend himself. I'm going to give him a chance to tell his story and then decide what to think of him. I don't see how this changes his draft stock that much. Good kid, great player. If he can tackle, someone will draft him in 1st 10 picks.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Jan. 18, 2013 12:37 a.m.

    I am all for supporting high profile LS athletes but in this case Manti himself told the story of the fake girlfriends death to Sports Illustrated 2 days after he got the call from the alleged girlfriend who had "died". This isn't looking good for him.

  • Alaskan Ute Fairbanks, AK
    Jan. 17, 2013 4:56 p.m.

    Bye Bye 1st Round! Stock has dropped and is dropping by the minute.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    I find this story typical of the hypocrisy in this country. You see football players everywhere who beat their girl friends and wives, frequent strip clubs regularly, get busted for drugs and a host of other felonies and the media says little if anything. Now you have a great - clean - athlete who plays with his heart and they want to destroy him. I suspect some of the feeding frenzy on Manti has to do with him being a Mormon and the hatred and bigotry in this country that is always on display regarding Mormons. I could care less what goofy thing happened with some on-line dating experience. I could care less if the whole thing was a hoax. BIG DEAL!! Holy geez, the kid is head and shoulders better than most who get drafted both athletically and morally and he is only 22. I think back when I was 22 and the goofy things I did but that didn't make me into some sort of Lance Armstrong con artist.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 2:06 p.m.


    Life imitating art?

    "...It's not a lie, if YOU believe it...".
    George Costanza

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    I guess that the sympathy vote for Teo didn't work for the Heisman. Why doesn't he just admit he and his friend concocted this story as a ploy to help win the Heisman. Since there is no award for coming in second no one would care.

    The story and its many permutations, as well as the denials, do not pass the smell test.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 17, 2013 12:45 p.m.

    I commented last night with a little disbelief, but as information comes out it becomes clear that something bizarre was happening.

    What I don't understand is why.

    Assume he was getting pranked. Who was the girl he met personally? Why invest that much time into an elaborate hoax? Te'o is on record as talking to her for hours and hours. This "relationship" went on for a long time. I've heard of pranks like this lasting for weeks or even months. But years? Why would someone be invest time in a prank for that long? That goes beyond just trying to embarass him, but I've seen no evidence of another motive like trying to scam him.

    Assume he was in on the joke. Why do it? Why didn't he think someone would figure it out? If he needed sympathy, his grandmother also passed away. Was it necessary to get more attention? Part of the Heisman run? A joke with his friends that got out of control?

    I think this is the most bizarre sports story I've ever heard.

  • Tilka PORTLAND, OR
    Jan. 17, 2013 12:35 p.m.

    CF Mom you are ignoring the comments from Te'o's parents saying she came out to visit, more than once.

  • dugwaydog jackson, WY
    Jan. 17, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    always- sanctimonious n.d. milked this story for all it was worth; probably knew it was bogus from the get-go. I'm a (nominal) caatholic u of u grad wyo native but i believe the only class operation in d-1 sports is in provo.

  • Tilka PORTLAND, OR
    Jan. 17, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    He is lying. He said he met her, visited her, sent her flowers, etc. He played terrible in the BCS championship because he knew it was going to come out. Didn't BYU sniff out the character issue when he did his campus visit?

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    Jan. 17, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    True story: My cousin was in her early 50’s and had a terminal illness. I asked her to come and live at my place, gave her the use of my computer, and taught her to use the internet so she could find some online support. We set up a phone line in her room. Soon, she was talking about all of the men she was meeting online, and her phone was ringing off the hook. I was amazed that she (not an attractive woman and not well) was getting so much attention. She told me some of these men wanted to meet her or even have her move in with them! After a few months, she died. As I went through her personal things, I found an unmailed letter to one of the men she’d talked about. In it was a photo of a beautiful young friend of hers. I found phone numbers and started calling men. They thought she was the young woman in the picture, so they were stunned when I unraveled the deception! No matter how this turns out, I don’t think we should rush to judgment!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    Wasn't this guy an inspiration just a day ago?

  • Parkite1 Park City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    If as I suspect he planned and orchestrated this what a disgrace! Glad he didn't go to BYU..

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    Manti is a good player - big, fast, smart, and plays 100% whistle to whistle. Also he is squeaky clean off the field. The girl friend thing is weird but who cares??? This is blown way out of proportion. If I am an NFL team and I need a linebacker I am taking Manti first round. No brainer.

  • CF Mom Sandy, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    Has anyone thought of the possibility that those invoved in the hoax used a real person to start the game, to meet Teo at Stanford so that he had a picture of her in his mind. Someone whose voice would match when he heard on the phone, match pictures on a facebook page etc. Why is it so far fetched that those who planned and execued this would have planned all angles including a face to face meeting or two. From my point of view, that only is common sense Duh

  • JustTheTruthMan bountiful, ut
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    Hope this is a rumor? This is more true than the false story ever was! I just really want to know who made it up and why? Why did someone have the gall to make it into a national headline? I believe journalists world wide learned something from this, and if not... What are they teaching in school these days? How required is the BS in Journalism? Heaven forbid there is anyone with a masters that would run with such an unproven story! Anyhoo, what the world learned is that before you run a story make sure there is proof that people exist. Don't wait until 10 months later to find out you ran with a LIE. It shoots your credibility into the dirt and buries it 40 feet under. And agreed. There is no LDS Church guilt by association to this! No more from this than the sad regrettable association of Harry Reid!

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    Bluto wrote:

    "This has nothing to do with the LDS Church, thus, it have no reason to be embarrassed."

    Of course, when Te'o is in the national media, on the front pages, and a Heisman nominee, then it has EVERYTHING to do with his "faith" and the LDS Church!

    But when something goes awry, it has NOTHING to do with the Church!

    Sounds like fair-weather friendship and cherry-picking to me.

  • Bill Shakespeare Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    RE: Brave Sir Robin

    I hope you don't think you came up with that yourself. I've only seen it in about 100 other places since yesterday.

  • Dave S Holladay, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    Great player that has now been discovered to be nothing but a phony outside the football field!!

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    Manti just changed his Facebook relationship status to "it's complicated".

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    The world is full of lonely people.
    The world is full of cruel people.
    Trust is ruined when the first meets the second.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    Correction: Manti admits that the scam was revealed to him on December 6th. And he didn't tell anyone. And all those adults (parents, coach, AD...) kept it under wraps and didn't call police.

  • logicalsportsanalyst Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    I know a group of guys that invented a girl to meet up with one of our friends online. They let their relationship go on for about two months before letting him know. I'm not saying that this is the case her. However, I don't think it should be ruled out as a possibility.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    Even if you accept the story, you have to wonder why Notre Dame and the family didn't come clean with the public on December 27th.
    Going public just as Deadspin is ready to expose the story tells me they were willing to hide the deception. That's not integrity in my book.
    Sure they were dealing with post-season play, but the truth is a priority; even more so when you are dealing with an LDS player and a Catholic university. Shame on them.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Jan. 17, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    Sorry, no way Teo didn't lie. His story is so bogus it's ridiculous. I'm getting tired of the Obama's, Armstrongs, Teo's of the world. Doping, fast and furious, Lybia, cycling, only going to tax the rich, phony girlfriends... enough is enough.

  • Kitenoa Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 7:19 a.m.

    Still, too many unanswered questions? Why would Te'o and family go along with such a stunt?

  • Y Ask Y Provo, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 7:04 a.m.

    This is hilarious!

    In an October interview with ESPN, Teo said:

    "Faith is believing in something that you most likely can’t see but you believe to be true. You feel in your heart and your soul that it’s true. You still take that leap."

  • Jazzledazzle Provo, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 6:52 a.m.

    One of Manti's friends says he is 80% sure that Manti was in on it. Doesn't sound like much of a friend to me. Way to have your friend's back there pal.

    That said- I will wait to form my final opinion until everything comes out, but I find it very hard to believe Manti is the victim in this.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 6:42 a.m.


    This has nothing to do with the LDS Church, thus, it have no reason to be embarrassed.
    Assigning guilt simply by association, is never a prudent thing to do.

    People make individual choices and have to live with them.
    Nobody knows the full truth at this point, but what is interesting, is how quickly everyone
    wants to condemn him, long before all the facts are known.

    Having sat on a jury for six long weeks, I learned not to be quick with conclusions until both sides have presented their case in full.

    Chill out folks and let the process fully materialize.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 17, 2013 6:26 a.m.

    What's the big deal?

    Lots of people have imaginary girl friends.

  • niners SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 5:27 a.m.

    @ bill

    Please read the deadspin article. You obviously don't understand the full story if you still think teo is a victim.

  • AChapin Albany, Linn, OR
    Jan. 16, 2013 11:59 p.m.

    Having known the Te'o family sence 1958 when I dated Mima Te'o and going to Roosevelt High school in Honolulu,Hawaii this hurts all of us from the Islands. I can tell you that the Island culture is so much different that the main land. Please know this is real sad and wish the best for this young man. Boy I just wish them well. Mahalo for your kind thoughts and prayers.

  • Peter Coyotl West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 11:20 p.m.

    She is the most beautiful girl I never met?

  • JParkerfan St. George, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 9:52 p.m.

    A "huge embarrassment for the church?". Someone needs a clue and a life. I think that the same old "haters" should sit back and let the story, and the facts, come out..

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 9:47 p.m.

    I think the hoax is that the girl had died and the girl maybe he met wasn't the girl on line but part of a broader conspiracy. Just a thought. It probably started on-line and then gravitated to maybe a couple of face to face meetings. But in a sense, this whole thing is a poster child of this generation's infatuation perhaps with facebook and technology vs. actually having human contact.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 9:40 p.m.

    "Read the article carefully. Manti was the victim in this. He met a girl on-line. They had a great relationship on-line. They became friends on-line."

    When I read it carefully, I see these non-online descriptions of their "relationship":
    Te'o and Kekua meet after Stanford's 45-38 victory over Notre Dame in Palo Alto, and swap phone numbers.

    Te'o's father, Brian, told the Tribune in October 2012. "Every once in a while, she would travel to Hawaii, and that happened to be the time Manti was home, so he would meet with her there."

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 16, 2013 9:07 p.m.

    Read the article carefully. Manti was the victim in this. He met a girl on-line. They had a great relationship on-line. They became friends on-line. This happens a lot especially on facebook. He indicates that he told ND authorities on it as soon as he found out it was a hoax. Now everyone is jumping on him because of it. Guilible yes but still the victim. Some of you casting stones shows your own stupidity in this. It doesn't embarras the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints one bit. What it embarrasses is the individuals who actually pulled this off. It just show how immoral our country has become. Nothing is sacred any longer, not even a person's life.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Jan. 16, 2013 9:06 p.m.

    Classy move
    Anything for money and fame

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 8:27 p.m.


    Well, I'd love to give him the benefit of the doubt, but if you read the deadspin article, it becomes pretty apparent that this is going to get REALLY ugly.

  • crawfordzoo Barstow, CA
    Jan. 16, 2013 7:19 p.m.

    Is no one giving him the benefit of the doubt? I am withholding judgement until the investigation is over.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 6:24 p.m.

    Lesson # 1 kids: Tell the truth, no matter how dull.
    Lesson # 2: Don't put all your trust and faith in any human being.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Jan. 16, 2013 5:27 p.m.

    A diamond just lost it's luster! Just a very sad story. Even more tragic is the fact that he seemed to have played along with it instead of telling the truth. And what kind of lowlife would make up a cruel story like that to begin with? I hope they investigate and find the culprits who started that hoax and prosecute them. That was one cruel hoax if I ever seen one. I'm sad for him, his family, and for the Church he represented while at ND.

    Wish him well and hope he has a bright future in the NFL.

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 5:20 p.m.

    Looking forward to hearing more about this--I'm guessing there will indeed be more details. If so, I would probably have to agree with "Scandrus".

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 16, 2013 5:20 p.m.

    I really hope this turns out to be vicious rumor. Though he spurned my Cougars, I respect Te'o and his accomplishments on and off the field. It'd be a shame if this was a big hoax.

  • FatMan86 West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    I would think the biggest embarrassment is ND. The ND PR machine pushed that story as much as anyone.

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 4:45 p.m.

    What the hey...?!?!? No wonder he played so poorly in the National Championship game!

  • Scandrus Cedar Hills, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    Just like "Rudy" and win 1 for the Gipper the Manti Teo story is marketing not reality. Good thing he didn't go to BYU after all. This is a huge embarrassment for the Church.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    So this girlfriend that he was madly in love with and whose "death" was such a touching subject all year turns out to be some random girl he never met but with whom he chatted with online a couple times?

    Say what you will about those who are supposedly behind this, but Manti, seriously dude?!

    You also led the nation to believe this was something a mile apart from what it truly was.

    Looking pretty foolish right now.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Jan. 16, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    People can be very gullible. Thus all the "inspiring" Urban legends that make the rounds in speeches and church all the time.

  • ImaCaMan Oceanside, CA
    Jan. 16, 2013 4:22 p.m.

    "She's the most beautiful girl I ever met". Problem was he, or anyone else, never met her. A girlfriend he never met? Either naive beyond belief or someone's not truthful.

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    Uh, what about all the "their eyes met" at a Stanford game, and all of Te'o's parents quotes? Complete garbage? Made up? This is an incredible story.