The fact that ND is standing behind this obvious sham of a statement tells you all you need to know about the power of the football program in South Bend. Even a five-year-old can see through Te'o's story and the longer he sticks to it--and the more research that's done online (and boy will there be a lot of that in the coming days) the worse this is going to be. It will get UGLY fast.
Hey ND: are you willing to let your football program take a hit for this guy, or will you throw him under the bus when it gets too embarrasing for this cherade to continue?
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o claims he's a victim who fell for someone's "sick joke" ... and he's really embarrassed over the scandal that's erupted over his not-really-dead girlfriend. Back in September, Te'o told multiple media outlets that his girlfriend Lennay Kekua had died after a bout with cancer ... hours after his grandmother passed away. The story was so emotional, it helped catapult him to fame. But earlier today, a story broke that Lennay was a fiction -- which means she never died because she never lived. Question is ... was Manti in on the hoax? According to Manti ... the answer is no. The football star now says: "This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her. To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.Manti Te'o -- I Was Duped ... and I'm Humiliated | TMZ.com