Manti Te’o’s girlfriend death a hoax

Joe Genova, Staff Writer

The sports and Twitter world blew up on Wednesday, January 16th when Notre Dame Linebacker and Heisman Trophy runner-up, Manti Te’o, was caught in a scandal that put an emotional season into question. The Hawaiian native broke hearts around the globe in September when he spoke of his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who died of Leukemia on September 12th. But the emotions of the tragedy were put into question in January when Notre Dame announced that the death of Lennay Kekua was all a “hoax.”

In his interview with Katie Couric, Te’o stated that he never met her in person but kept a relationship over the phone from May through September where Kekua’s death supposedly took place. He also claims to have had no part in the scandal saying he received a phone call from the person claiming to be Kekua, saying that she was alive on December 6th of 2012. As the tragedy continues to reveal itself, the alleged voice of Kekua was in fact a man. The man behind the voice is Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Though Tuiasosopo said that the ruse was not to hurt the reputation of the Notre Dame Linebacker but he was reaching out to establish communication with someone and to have a relationship.

Over 1,000 calls were issued back and forth between Manti and the alleged Kekua throughout the five month span of their relationship and when voicemails were played aloud during an interview between Te’o and Katie Couric, the disguised voice in fact does sound feminine. It would be easy to say that Manti played a role in the act for the attention but copies of call logs came out matching his story.

Manti Te’o led the Notre Dame fighting Irish football team to the Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game where they were outplayed by the Alabama Crimson Tide. Te’o is looking to enter the NFL Draft this season with hopes of putting this most embarrassing “hoax” behind him.