According to Irish Sports Daily, top prospect Gunner Kiel will transfer from Notre Dame after just one year of roaming the sideline. Notre Dame had a wildly successful 2012 that saw head coach Brian Kelly and his team way ahead of schedule as they posted a 12-0 regular season record before being pummeled in the National Championship Game by Alabama. A key factor in the transfer has to be the emergence of rising junior Everett Golson.
Golson was a big key for the Irish in 2012 and will only get better. Kiel was expected to compete for playing time this spring but realisitically how can you replace a guy who went undefeated in the regular season? Rather than sit behind Golson for two years it now looks like Kiel will transfer.
Kiel was a huge catch for Notre Dame as Scout.com had him as the number one ranked QB prospect in the 2012 class. It will be very interesting to see where Kiel ends up as he had previously verbally committed to both Indiana and LSU before landing at Notre Dame. I think a Big Ten school will ultimately be his landing spot.
Get more great College Football Analysis over at College Football Zealots.
2013 College Football Recruiting Rankings: Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, Notre Dame, UCLA, LSU and More
College football recruiting has developed into a big money business over the last few years as we've seen more and more sites and individuals covering this aspect of the sport on a year-round basis. I have a basic level of interest in recruiting but honestly I'm more interested in what goes on inside the lines. I was mostly unplugged from media chatter today as the top prospects (not including the kids who are already on campus as early enrollees) faxed in their letters of intent.
While I have a passing interest in recruiting, there is no doubt of it's importance in the sport. If you look at rival's recruiting rankings from 2007 to 2011 you will find that five of the top ten teams in terms of recruiting during that time period finished in the AP Top 10. Three more AP Top 10 finishers finished in the top 15 in the recruiting rankings. The only two teams that finished in the AP Top 10 this past season that didn't finish in the top 15 of recruiting rankings over the last four years were Stanford and Texas A&M.
There are a lot of other factors that go into college football other than just recruiting but it is important and it's kind of like the start to the new season with all of these new faces on your favorite team. I combined the overall team recruiting rankings for this incoming class from Scout.com, Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN and according to them here are the top classes for this season...
Get more great college football analysis over at College Football Zealots.
The Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax story has been constantly in the news since Deadspin released the first article reporting the entire relationship was bologna. Te’o's ex-girlfriend Alexandra del Pilar is a Junior at a Notre Dame sister school who says nothing but kind words about Te’o. According to People, she states that he is kind and gentle, and loved Lennay Kekua. When Te’o called Pilar to tell the truth about the h0ax, she couldn’t believe it. She still believes that he had nothing to do with the ‘catfishing’ scenario and genuinely loved Kekua.
What are some ways to stand up for your partner in the face of controversy?
There will always come a time when your partner will be in trouble and it is necessary for you to stand up for them no matter the circumstance. In the face of controversy, it is challenging to know what steps to take. Fortunately, once you love someone, you will do anything possible to help them out. Here are some ways to stand up for your partner:
1. Tell the truth: Telling lies in the midst of controversy is never a great idea. When you are standing up for your partner, simply tell the truth. Even if the truth isn’t flattering for your partner , it is essential that you speak wisely and honestly. People will respect that you told the truth; even if it’s in the face of controversy, it’s honest.
2. Express love: The Beatles said “All you Need is Love,” which is entirely true! By expressing your love for your partner, you are showing the world that even though they may express deviant behavior, you will always be my their side. This is also key for your partner, as they will know how much you truly love them.
3. Fight on: When your partner is facing an issue, it is best to put on your suit of armor and fight on. There will be a lot thrown at you that you will not like, but you have to realize that you and your partner will inevitably get through this speed bump in your relationship.
Have you ever stood up for your partner in the face of controversy? Share below!
Most people figured that the Manti Te’o fake dead girlfriend story got as bizarre as it was going to get last week. After all, it is pretty difficult to top a guy carrying on a season long PR campaign about how he was persevering despite his girlfriend’s death, only to eventually find out that the dead girlfriend was a.) not dead, b.) not his girlfriend, and c.) never existed.
Last week was just an appetizer.
According to a recent report, the reason that Te’o and his family have agreed to their much ballyhooed Oprah-esque interview with Katie Couric this week is because they were all taken by the Notre Dame linebacker’s fictional partner, Lennay Kekua. How taken were they exactly? Taken enough to have wanted to convert Kekua to Mormonism.
“The person said Ottilia Te'o, Manti Te'o's mother, had spoken with Lennay Kekua about converting to Mormonism and that the family had engaged in Bible study with her via text message,” USA Today wrote on Sunday.
At a certain point last week just about everyone believed that Te’o and -- most likely -- his family had been at least somewhat in on this hoax. It just seemed unfeasible that a group of people who were as successful and intelligent and they seemed to be could get scammed like this.
However, as more information emerges, it is getting increasingly more difficult to believe that they were/are making all this up. If you were attempting to salvage your public reputation and retain some measure of dignity, would confessing to the fact that you planned to convert your son’s girlfriend -- who neither you nor he had ever met -- to Mormonism via text message really be the way to go?
After the Couric interview, this entire situation will begin to lose steam at a record pace. The public only has so much attention to spare on any given day, and there is already a certain wariness being exhibited towards the most recent Te’o developments.
Still, when people reflect on what has transpired in a week, month and year from now, it will be only be viewed through one of two lenses: either Te’o is the dumbest guy ever, or he is a liar who simply tried to act like the dumbest guy ever to preserve his reputation as best he could.
Neither option is particularly appealing, obviously.
Two years ago, I called the Notre Dame football program a moral cesspool. Two weeks ago, I wrote a story about the horrible treatment of women who have accused members of the Notre Dame football team of sexual assault, harassment and rape. These strands knotted together Wednesday in a drama that threatens to break the Internet: the incredibly bizarre, but unbelievably true, story of Fighting Irish star Manti Te’o and his fake online girlfriend.
Te’o was a campus icon: the runner-up Heisman trophy winner, and the acknowledged inspirational leader of a team that came within one game of a national championship. He also, as Deadspin.com reported in a brilliant piece of investigative journalism by Tim Burke and Jack Dickey, shared, knowingly or unknowingly, an elaborate lie with major media outlets about a girlfriend, Stanford student Lennay Kekua, who didn’t really exist.
In the last six months as Teo’s fame ballooned, America learned about the football star’s soul mate who suffered a terrible car accident and, while hospitalized, discovered that she had leukemia. Lennay, according to Te’o, would stay on the phone with him for eight hours while he slept because hearing him breathe would ease her suffering. In September, she passed away. This tragic relationship was covered in Sports Illustrated, ESPN and even The New York Times. Te’o did interviews where he choked back tears. He spoke of their time together as well as her parents. People raised thousands of dollars in her name for cancer research. Once again, she didn’t exist.
A family friend of Te’o, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, in fact created the fictitious Lennay Kekua. Today I listened to a recording of Te’o onThe Jim Rome Show, his voice quavering as he spoke about “Lennay’s death.” The only conclusion one can draw is that he was either the victim of an insanely elaborate grift whose ingenuity would humble David Mamet, or something stinks in South Bend.
Either one believes that for three years, Te’o was content with an online relationship that involved neither Skype nor Facetime and just gilded the lily about their meetings. Or this was a ruse that started before anyone knew or cared who Manti Te’o was and as he grew into a college football superstar, it spun out of control.
Te’o issued a statement within hours of the Deadspin report claiming that he was the victim of a hoax. A press conference commanded by Te'o is also forthcoming, which will probably resemble a wildlife special where a gazelle is feasted upon by a pride of lions. Maybe Te’o, a devout Mormon, wanted to find a way to disengage from a campus hook-up culture that allegedly often strays into sexual assault. But if he is hiding facts about his personal life, it’s hard to imagine the press backing off until they find out exactly what they are. If it was a hoax, then Manti Te’o, a man who would fall in love online, have a three-year long-distance relationship and nurse a young woman through leukemia without ever seeing her in person, should be put in a lab and studied for the greater good.
Yet as with the far more serious previous scandals attached to this storied program, the problem is not just the behavior of students but the moral compass on display by the adults in charge. Within hours of the story breaking online, Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick held a press conference where he backed Te’o to the hilt saying,“Every single thing about this was real to Manti. There was no suspicion. The grief was real, the affection was real, and that’s the sad nature of this cruel game.”
Swarbrick revealed that a private outside firm had been hired to investigate just who had perpetrated this “cruel game.” The athletic director even cried. His behavior only raises more important questions than anything Te’o will face tomorrow.
Why hasn’t there been any kind of privately funded, outside investigation into the alleged sexual assaults committed by members of the football team? Why was there no private, outside investigation into Coach Brian Kelly’s role in the death of team videographer Declan Sullivan? It says so much that Te’o’s bizarre soap opera has moved Swarbrick to openly weeping but he hasn’t spared one tear, let alone held one press conference, for Lizzy Seeberg, the young woman who took her own life after coming forward with allegations that a member of the team sexually assaulted her.
Swarbrick’s press conference displayed that the problem at Notre Dame is not just football players without a compass; it’s the adults without a conscience. Their credo isn’t any kind of desire for truth or justice. Instead it seems to be little more than a constant effort to protect the Fighting Irish brand, no matter who gets hurt.
By now everyone has heard about what happened with Manti Te’o and his fake dead girlfriend, Lennay Kekua.
To hear Te'o tell this story, he was the unwitting victim of a mean-spirited hoax perpetuated by vicious internet trolls intent on ruining lives. He thought he had genuinely met someone who he truly cared for; whoever was operating things on the other end was merely looking to embarrass him.
When the person who he thought he was talking to supposedly died of leukemia, Te’o was heartbroken. His emotions were toyed with. His trust was broken.
He is the injured party.
Of course, that isn’t the only side of this story. Up until this past Tuesday, Te’o permitted the general public to believe that Kekua was a real person who died prior to Notre Dame’s game against Michigan State (in which he put up an extremely memorable performance) despite the fact that he was well aware it was all BS. And he knew it by at least late December. That, coupled with the various recorded inconsistencies in terms of how he previously said they met, the type of contact they had, and so and so forth, has left a lot of people wondering whether he was in on this scam the whole time.
After all, if Te’o wasn’t milking all this for attention and was just the victim of a hoax like he insists, why didn’t he fess up before getting exposed?
Because he wanted to protect Notre Dame. Or something.
As reported by TMZ:
Manti Te'o is telling friends ... he knew the truth about Lennay Kekua in early December ... but continued the lie for 20 days for the sake of his team.
Sources connected to Te'o say ... it's true what ND Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said Wednesday night, that Manti realized he had been hoaxed on Dec. 6, when he got a phone call from "Lennay" ... months after he thought she was dead.
But sources tell us ... Manti didn't tell his coaches about the hoax until Dec. 26 ... because he thought it would be a huge distraction while the team prepared to face Alabama in the BCS Championship.
During the 20 days, we're told Manti struggled over how to handle the situation ... but eventually felt compelled to come clean to his coaches.
So there you go. The man isn’t just a victim – he is a hero, too. He endured the personal hardship of allowing people to think he had a great season in the midst of unspeakable tragedy for the good of his team.
It was inevitable that we would end up here. The natural stages when it comes to processing this sort of embarrassing ordeal are: denial, excuses, claims of self-sacrifice, and confession. We are on step three of four.
Give it a few days.
Everyone seems to have an opinion on what has happened here. My money is on the fact that Manti Te’o is gay (not that there is anything wrong with that) and that he concocted this entire story to suggest that he is heterosexual.
The theory here of course is that he thought that knowledge of him being homosexual might adversely affect his draft status. My guess is that Te’o's father made up the story about Manti and Lennay Kekua spending time together in Hawaii to help Manti cover up. Hey look, my hypothesis is as plausible as anyone else’s…
Here’s how the topic was covered in Taiwan as the news of Manti Te’o and his imaginary dead fake girlfriend reached his Samoan Homeland.
I just had a reader email me and ask the following… “If it turns out that Manti Te’o is homosexual, do you think he’s the best homosexual inside linebacker of all-time?” You can’t make this stuff up…
As the Manti Te'o story continues to straighten out of the Griswold Christmas lights knot it worked itself into, we should probably go ahead and clear the air on some things that don't exist in the SEC. This will help reduce confusion, shock, dismay, and a Twitter gridlock when these things come to a more public light. Some of these include, but are not limted to:
1. Ole Miss' 2003 SEC Western Division championship
2. Dan Mullen's championships
3. Todd Grantham laughter
4. Family of squirrels under Les Miles' hat
5. LSU's quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator
6. Florida's wide receivers
7. Doug Nussmeier
8. Hugh Freeze retweet robot
9. Steve Spurrier three-putt
10. "Great decision, Tyler Bray"
11. Bert Bielema
12. People who care about Kentucky football
13. One South Carolina starting quarterback
14. Bowl appearances by Missouri while in the SEC
15. Will Muschamp gaze of fondness
16. Vacant NCAA satellite office at Auburn
17. Matching sternum tattoos for AJ McCarron and his ladyfriend
18. Nick Saban and THREE Little Debbie cakes
20. Johnny Manziel being boring
21. Lack of conspiracy theories
22. Poor people
23. Nick Saban wink
25. Enough money
On a more serious note (BORING), read this by the great @celebrityhottub. It's a good reminder of what a terrible idea it is to label someone as one thing or another. In case you forgot, we're all MILDLY COMPLICATED and have many more flaws, big and small, than everyone assumes we do.
A lot to come out on Manti Te’o over the past day. In the blink of an eye he went from an All American boy to a possible relative of Patrick Bateman. If Te’o really was perpetuating a lie for his own personal gain, and common sense would say that he knew on some level, then the effect on his draft stock and future will be uncertain to say the least.
I would like to say that I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt, but that would be naive. An athlete has waved his finger in my face and told me they’re innocent too many times. I’m not falling for that one again.
What I can say for certain is that this is a pretty important moment for journalism and blogs alike. The merging of the two is officially complete. Deadspin has broken stories in the past, and other blogs/websites do it all the time, but nothing ever on this level. It’s amazing how big this story has gotten, and I can’t wait for the next developement to come out. This is like the Tiger story and Casey Anthony rolled in to one (minus the murder) with the major elements involved.
Sheer “What the F**k?” Appeal.
I mean does this have to be explained? Seriously, what the f**k?
A glimpse in to a possible sociopath’s life.
If this is true then Manti Te’o has serious characteristics of a sociopath. The emotion on command, being able to lie stonefaced time after time; that takes a special kind of person, spending time in a very weird place, for an extended period of time. People (myself included) are fascinated by stuff like that.
For some reason their stranglehold on the media lasted long enough for them to sneak in to the National Championship. It’s like the entirety of Notre Dame’s fame has been leading to this moment. Oh, people will watch. People will most definitely watch.
Religion and athletics.
The players that choose to hold themselves up to a higher level by constantly playing up their religious side invite added scrutiny to their lives. You don’t see a player like LeBron James constantly having religion or faith brought up when he’s talked about, but players like Te’o and Tebow love to project this holier than thou image. There is nothing more interesting than when you find out the person you thought you knew is actually the complete opposite.
Whether he was the main perpetrator, the face behind a bigger scam or simply knew about what was going on and didn’t do anything to stop it, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered.
I want to know what the conversation was like before the Te’o family decided to go to Notre Dame administrators. If it comes out that Te’o knew about everything then I can probably guess how it went.
Manti: “I can’t believe that people found out. Why would anyone research a story like that? Who questions when you tell someone your girlfriend died? Even Coach didn’t think twice about it. He even handed me a game ball for her!”
Mr. Te’o: “I know, son. There is definitely a way we can get out of this. Nobody really believes those Deadspin guys. They just post pictures of aging quarterback’s sad looking dicks. ESPN won’t run with this story because they would be breaking down what the higher ups over their dream of when they sleep hanging upside down from ceiling of their caves – a good god fearing Notre Dame boy with an amazing story of perseverance Hell, I bet they know about it right now and aren’t even thinking about doing anything with it”
Manti: “Wait, ESPN executives sleep upside down while hanging from the ceiling of a cave?”
Mr. Te’o: “Of course, son. ESPN executives are blood sucking creatures of the dark. Where else would they sleep?”
Manti: “That’s true. I never thought of it that way… so what are we going to do about this?”
Mr. Te’o: “We need to talk to the administrators at ND and Coach Kelly.”
Manti: “But they won’t support me. I mean this is pretty messed up, Dad.”
Mr. Te’o: “Of course it’s messed up. You knowingly fabricated a lie about and exploited your reputation. And that, my dear boy, is exactly how we are going to convince Notre Dame officals, and the world, that you were duped in an elaborate hoax the likes of which nobody could ever imagine.”
Manti: “Why would they believe that?”
Mr. Te’o: “Because you’re a good Mormon boy who has never done anything wrong. You have the unwavering trust of your coaches and administrators, an entire boatload of Notre Dame apologists in influential positions and don’t forget the legions of sports writers and reporters who suddenly have a lot of questions to answer about doing their due diligence. Nobody hates being wrong more than an sportswriter with an inflated sense of self worth.”
Manti: “I don’t know, Dad. There are so many holes. Like why did I say that I met her, that we met her, when that’s not true at all? How are we going to cover that up? What about the fact that picture in her Twitter profile is another girl? Won’t that girl have something to say about all of this? I mean for the love of Joseph Smith I’m a starting linebacker at Notre Dame, why in the world would I carry on an online relationship for three years when I can walk in to a party and literally just point at a girl? And don’t you think that I would go and see her at least once between her life threatening car accident and subsequent battle with leukemia?”
Mr. Te’o: “Sh*t… you’re right. I’m sorry kid, but you’re screwed. If we’ve learned anything from Lance Armstrong, Joe Paterno, Barry Bonds; it’s that you to have deny, deny, deny.”
Manti: “Don’t those cases just illustrate that you should just come out right away and admit guilt? I think if you look at a case like Rick Pitino’s, were he just came right out and basically said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Yes, I had my buddy shut the restaurant down and then I banged her all over the place.” I think people didn’t hold on to the story for as long because he admitted guilt right away. It’s when one lie leads to another, and the lies pile up until they literally become you, that’s when these things get out of control. I can’t have this in the back of my mind with the National Championship coming up. I’m going to lose my concentration for a second and Jacob Lacey is going to run over me like f**king bull. I don’t want to drop in the draft”
Mr. Te’o: “Don’t want to drop in the draft? DON’T WANT TO DROP IN THE DRAFT?! If you admit guilt that’s the only thing you’re going to do. At least if you say you were fooled we can play that off until you sign with a team. As long as there is still plausible deniability then there will be a team willing to take an early chance on you. Once your contract is signed and you’re all squared away we can do a big book deal or one of those tell all interviews with Bob Costas. Hell, maybe we even see what the bloated old bag Oprah is up to. She wouldn’t ask any tough questions and next thing you know you’re coming out as the victim. I’m telling you this can work.”
Manti: “Ok, dad. You’re right – I can’t have my draft stock drop when we’ve put so much time, effort and lies in to it. Let’s get our stories straight.”
I can almost picture that entire scene in my head. The only thing about this entire ridiculous story that I can’t picture in my head is that for three years an All American linebacker was duped by a girl that he never met. Or wait, he met her once. No, no she used to go visit him in Hawai. Sh*t, I can’t keep up.
What could possibly be better than a household named, All-American kid, having an imaginary dead fake girlfriend?
There is only one person in America more pissed than Manti T’eo right now, Oprah Winfrey. Oprah was counting on people finding her network to watch the Lance Armstrong PED confession interview on Thursday.
MEMO TO OPRAH – If you’re not airing an interview with Manti T’eo on Thursday, no one is going to be watching… BTW – Does anyone actually now how to find the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)?
Yesterday’s bizarre news flow regarding the Manti T’eo hoax was better than any episode during the nine years of Seinfeld (sorry Jerry). We had Manti T’eo and the Notre Dame AD, Jack Swarbrick, telling us that T’eo is the victim of a hoax as Lennay Kekua, who T’eo apparently thought was his girlfriend, does not / did not exist. Meanwhile back at the farm….. Manti’s father is telling us that she did exist…
“They started out as just friends. She would travel to Hawaii (when) Manti was home, so he would meet with her there” said Mr. T’eo.
On top of that, we had former Arizona Cardinals full back, Reagan Mauia, tell us that Lennay Kekua is real and that he met her twice in American Samoa where Mauia, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and other Polynesian teammates were doing charity work.
Twitter was buzzing with jokes last night as anyone and everyone instantly became a standup comedian. Search #catfish and you’ll see what I mean. People all around the country were yucking it up… Here’s just a small minute or two sample of my twitter timeline. Depending on who you follow, yours might even be funnier…
Jim Powell (@Jim_Powell)
People need to calm down about this Manti Te’o fake dead girlfriend thing. Its not like he made up an infield fly or something! #samholbrook
Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap)
DEAR MR. TE’O SIR, MY NAME KING NAARFAR SON OF PRINCE IN ABOUT KENYA NAIROBI. PLEASE AT YOUR HONOR SEND $500,000 TO EMAIL FOR BUSINESS.
Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS)
This poor guy makes up an imaginary GF and gets ripped. Some lady write three books about imaginary kink and makes millions. Hmm.
Rich Eisen (@richeisen)
Everybody: before turning in for the night tonight, please verify that your loved ones actually exist. #UltimateBedCheck
Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell)
Bye bye, Kaepernicking, here comes Te’oing (via @BrianDiCarlo93)
Bart Hubbuch (@HubbuchNYP)
Imagining if Te’o had won the Heisman and referenced the fake dead girlfriend in his speech. Head starting to explode.