The scandal involving former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o is expected to follow him for the rest of his life. And being that the NFL Draft is upon us this weekend, it was only natural for journalists to delve back into what exactly happened.
In January, Deadspin broke a story claiming that Te'o's girlfriend, who he believed died of cancer during the season, never existed. The story included detailed information behind the story of the ficticious woman known as Lennay Kekua. Now, Te'o offered up an odd explanation as to why he skipped her funeral, when in fact he claims he still didn't know the whole thing was fabricated.
From Vanity Fair:
The only time he wasn’t completely honest, Te’o says, was when he spoke to the group of journalists on December 8. “Put yourself in my position,” he says. “I’ve just found out my girlfriend is a big prank. And I think she’s just died and people are asking me about her. And I’m just a 21-year-old guy getting this question on a national stage just two days after it happens.”
Yes, he has regrets and embarrassment—but only up to a point. As he puts it, “I would say I was naïve and I was just unlucky. I was naïve in that I trusted this ‘person.’ But a lot of things just happened, all together, to make this just a case of bad luck.”
But still. A football game over a funeral? Really?
Te’o takes a deep breath. “You have to understand,” he says. “This is a person I’ve never seen before. So I didn’t want to be seeing her for the first time dead in a casket. I didn’t want to see that. I wanted the first time I was seeing her to be the first time I see her. In the kingdom of heaven.”
Look, Te'o clearly has some sort of issue in thinking things out. This is what got him in trouble in the first place. But even Te'o believes he may not ever rebound from the traumatic experience.
"Honestly, I’d say I’m never going to be completely normal. Never. It’s still with me now. It’s always going to be something that’s just there all the time, in the back of my head."Hopefully Te'o can put this whole ordeal behind him and make a name for himself in the NFL. But regardless of how his professional career pans out, some folks will never let him live this scandal down.