Notre Dame’s other No. 5 under fire for girlfriend hoax

Fortunately for local fans of Myrtle Beach native Everett Golson, it’s Notre Dame’s other No. 5, senior linebacker Manti Te’o, that is garnering all the attention in the wake of the Fighting Irish’s loss in the BCS title game.

Te’o, who became a sympathetic figure in September when his mother and girlfriend reportedly died on consecutive days, is now the center of controversy after it was discovered that the girlfriend did not exist.

Te’o claims he was the victim of a hoax, but an unidentified teammate of Te’o told ESPN on Thursday that whether his late girlfriend was a hoax or not, he overplayed his death in the media.

Meanwhile, TMZ unearthed a fan hoax that may have been started by the same man who reportedly tried to fool Te’o.

The roller-coaster story of Te’o’s girlfriend — did she die, did she even exist, what did Te’o know, if anything and when did he find out he was being duped — came to light Wednesday in a report on Deadspin.

The website reported that Kekua was a creation of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Notre Dame officials and athletic director Jack Swarbrick have since defended Te’o as a victim of a “catfishing” scheme.

On Thursday, ESPN reported that a teammate said the players thought he created drama over the girl’s death. He said Te’o enjoyed the attention he received because of death of the girl. Another player said teammates questioned if a girl he met once really was his girlfriend.

Another anonymous teammate told PepperOnSports.com: “He lied, but the media blew it up. … Right after the Michigan (State) game. He should have never brought her in the media. His grandma passing was enough.”

What is certain is that the Heisman Trophy finalist’s grandmother died on Sept. 12 and that hours later there were reports that Te’o’s girlfriend had died of leukemia.

Te’o said Kekua’s death was his inspiration to elevate his play. He finished second in Heisman Trophy voting and helped guide the Fighting Irish to the BCS Championship Game against Alabama.

An independent investigation was launched by Notre Dame after the university found out what had taken place and according to Swarbrick, the alleged perpetrators showed no remorse.

The tale of lies and deceit began to unfold for Te’o while he attended an awards banquet on Dec. 6 in Orlando, Fla., Swarbrick explain. Te’o received a call from a phone number associated with Kekua and when he answered, the voice on the other end “unnerved” him. In fact, the voice was that of the woman Te’o thought was dead.

Te’o did not contact school officials until Dec. 26, wanting first to discuss the events with his family. On Dec. 27, Swarbrick learned the details of the relationship, prompting the investigation.

The final report was issued on Jan. 4 and Swarbrick believed Te’o and his family were prepared to release a statement sometime last week. But they did not.

Also Thursday, TMZ reported a Notre Dame fan contacted Kekua on Twitter while the she and Te’o were “dating.” After Kekua “died”, the fan started a “Wear a Lei 4 Manti” campaign, getting fans to wear Hawaiian leis to Notre Dame games.

The fan earned a new Twitter follower, who said she was Kekua’s younger sister, U’ilani Rae Kekua. When the two arranged to meet at the USC-Notre Dame game in Los Angeles, U’ilani never showed but instead the fan was met by Tuiasosopo, who indicated he was a relative, and a child called Pookah.

Later, the fan was told by Tuiasosopo that Pookah had contracted Lupus and was dying. The fan sent flowers to address that TMZ found to be that of the Tuiasosopo family with a phone number registered to Titus Tuiasosopo, Ronaiah’s father.

Te’o and Golson shared the No. 5 this season and Golson credited the upperclassman for helping him get comfortable leading the offense as a redshirt freshman.

Comments

comments

White goes from goat to hero in Coastal's OT win

White goes from goat to hero in Coastal's OT winSenior Wes White took a loose ball and found the [more]

MB tennis, volleyball rule the net in sweep of Tigers

MB tennis, volleyball rule the net in sweep of TigersThe Myrtle Beach High girls tennis and volleyball teams dominated [more]

Golf: Sharks target future; Panthers knock off Braves

Golf: Sharks target future; Panthers knock off BravesHow good is the St. James girls golf program? Good [more]

Week 6 Previews & Picks: Victory Bell tolls Thursday

Week 6 Previews & Picks: Victory Bell tolls ThursdayThe Battle of the Victory Bell rings into action one [more]

Socastee boys, NMB girls take second at XC meet

Socastee boys, NMB girls take second at XC meetFive Grand Strand area cross country teams hit the ground [more]

Tennis: Braves, Saints net big wins over region rivals

Tennis: Braves, Saints net big wins over region rivalsThe Socastee High girls tennis team delivered an impressive 1-2 [more]

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Sharks sweep region foes

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Sharks sweep region foesIn a showdown for first place in Region 6-5A standings, [more]

Golf: Braves top Warriors; Tigers, Chiefs battle Aynor

Golf: Braves top Warriors; Tigers, Chiefs battle AynorThe Conway and North Myrtle Beach girls golf teams narrowly [more]

MB's Edwards, SJ's White finalize college decisions

MB's Edwards, SJ's White finalize college decisions  A pair of recent Grand Strand Sports Report Athlete of [more]

Chanticleers, Gamecocks meet in '18 season opener

Chanticleers, Gamecocks meet in '18 season openerThe Coastal Carolina University football team will open the 2018 [more]

Villanueva becomes latest ex-Pelican to make majors

Villanueva becomes latest ex-Pelican to make majorsFormer Myrtle Beach Pelicans infielder Christian Villanueva made his major [more]

Lady Chiefs sweep season series vs. West Brunswick

Lady Chiefs sweep season series vs. West BrunswickThe North Myrtle Beach High volleyball team made sure that [more]

CCU golf fourth, Obecny second at VCU Shootout

CCU golf fourth, Obecny second at VCU ShootoutThe Coastal Carolina men’s golf team shot a 3-under par [more]

St. James takes runner-up at Lady Patriot Invitational

St. James takes runner-up at Lady Patriot InvitationalThe St. James High girls golf team went toe-to-toe with [more]

Photos: No TDs but loads of fun at Panthers' debut

Photos: No TDs but loads of fun at Panthers' debutA sellout crowd enjoyed the Carolina Panthers' 2017 home opener [more]

Lady Chants bounce back to claim first Sun Belt win

Lady Chants bounce back to claim first Sun Belt winCoastal Carolina women's soccer team got back in the win [more]

Carolina Forest swimmers win Socastee Invitational

Carolina Forest swimmers win Socastee InvitationalThe Carolina Forest swimming teams continued their successful seasons by [more]

CCU's comeback bid falls short in road loss to UAB

CCU's comeback bid falls short in road loss to UABCoastal Carolina scored 18 second-half points and only allowed 116 [more]

Chants open Sun Belt title defense with loss to GSU

Chants open Sun Belt title defense with loss to GSUCoastal Carolina began defense of its 2016 Sun Belt Championship [more]

NMB shows it's for 'Reel' with blowout of Socastee

NMB shows it's for 'Reel' with blowout of SocasteeIn a highly anticipated showdown between undefeated North Myrtle Beach [more]

Seahawks' D bounces back by pouncing on Panthers

Seahawks' D bounces back by pouncing on PanthersWill the real Myrtle Beach High defense please stand up? [more]

Sharks let one slip away as Bulldogs feast on fumbles

Sharks let one slip away as Bulldogs feast on fumblesOne week after pulling off an amazing comeback win, the [more]

Christian Academy works overtime to earn wild win

Christian Academy works overtime to earn wild winOn a big Friday night for public school football on [more]

Volleyball: MB wins home debut; Panthers sweep SF

Volleyball: MB wins home debut; Panthers sweep SFThe Myrtle Beach High volleyball team finally got the opportunity [more]

Golf: Panthers move to 4-0; Sharks roll past Seahawks

Golf: Panthers move to 4-0; Sharks roll past Seahawks Carolina Forest's Sami Spencer shot a career-best 3-under-par 33 to [more]

White goes from goat to hero in Coastal's OT win

White goes from goat to hero in Coastal's OT winSenior Wes White took a loose ball and found the [more]

MB tennis, volleyball rule the net in sweep of Tigers

MB tennis, volleyball rule the net in sweep of TigersThe Myrtle Beach High girls tennis and volleyball teams dominated [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach