Friday, January 18, 2013

Statement Analysis: Manti Te'o of Notre Dame

Statements previously made show deception on the part of the player, Manti Te'o. Why did he do it?  Why invent a story of a dying girlfriend, and overcoming this adversity on the football field?

 Was it to up his chances for bigger contract in NFL?  

Did he really need more attention?  

See story below quotes here.  Note the dates.  The language is not from experiential memory.  Lack of commitment and sensory detail, as well as attempt to persuade are noted.  

"We met just, um, just she knew my cousin."  
And kinda saw me there, so.  

Note the lack of commitment to his statement.  
The word "just" is often used to compare downwards, as in minimizing something.  
Why would he minimize knowing his own girlfriend?  This is not expected of someone's "love" of his life. The downplaying of the relationship may be due to the internal stress of lying and not wanting to outright lie.  

Just kinda regular. 
But she saw me at the USC game of my sophomore year.  We were still just friends, we
were acquaintances. "

Here we have a change of language:  they went from "just friends" to "acquaintances" without any justification within the context.  Words do not change on their own.  Emotions have the most powerful impact upon words and cause change.  When language changes, and there is no justification in context, it may indicate the subject is not speaking from memory.  

The word "but" is often used to rebut that which preceded it.  We see this word placed in artificially in deceptive statements, as there is nothing to rebut. It may be that the subject is, in a  strange sense, rebutting his own assertion.  

"I think I'll never forget the time when I found out that, you know, my girlfriend passed away.  And the first person to run to my aid was my defensive coordinator, Coach Diaco, and, you know, he said something very profound to me, he said, 'this is where your faith is tested.' Right after that, I ran into the players' lounge and I got on the phone with my parents and I opened my eyes and my Head Coach was sitting right there. And so, you know, there are a hundred plus people on our team and the defensive coordinator and our Head Coach took time to just go get one (of those players).  You know I think that was the most meaningful to me.  

"I think I'll never forget the time when I found out that, you know, my girlfriend passed away.  

Note the lack of commitment here, with "think"; allowing for him to "think" otherwise, or for others to "think" contrary to what he asserts. 

Please note that having your girlfriend die is not likely something that will need a trigger for your memory. 

Strangeness continues:  

People often speak of where they were at a particular important time in history, whether personal or public.  "Where were you when 9/11 hit?" is a common example.  

People generally do not speak of remembering the "time" of an event; instead, they remember a place. 
A "time" is a signal on the clock, but a "place" is far more sensory in description.  People often remember where they were when they heard shattering news, including what they were doing, and who they were with.  They don't normally associate the event with a click on the clock.  

He does not speak of her, personally, which is unexpected, but of the "time" he found out.  

Note, "my girlfriend" avoids using her name, which, given that she was supposed to have "passed away", is very unusual.  Death is something very close.  This unnatural use of "my girlfriend", without using her name with the title, seems to speak more to the need to emphasize, in a juvenile like manner, that she really was his "girlfriend."

And the first person to run to my aid was my defensive coordinator, Coach Diaco, and, you know, he said something very profound to me, he said, 'this is where your faith is tested.' Right after that, I ran into the players' lounge and I got on the phone with my parents and I opened my eyes and my Head Coach was sitting right there. 

Note body posture in all statements. 
Here, the first person "ran" to his aid. 
Next, he "ran" into the players' lounge. 
Then, he "opened" his eyes;
Head coach was "sitting"

This is indicative of not only tension, but story telling.  
Note that the phone call is likely to be significant to the deception. 

And so, you know, there are a hundred plus people on our team and the defensive coordinator and our Head Coach took time to just go get one (of those players).  You know I think that was the most meaningful to me.  

Note what was most meaningful to him was not the loss of his girlfriend, but that the defensive coordinator (he does not use the name here) and the Head Coach took time to get a player. 

I can think of things more meaningful when losing a girlfriend than 2 coaches getting a player for him. 

When asked how she died:

"It was just so sudden.  I don't know the details of it.  It was just a surprise. "

Manti Te'o has already tried to explain how his heartwarming story of playing through adversity was a lie he wasn't responsible for, how he was the victim of a cruel hoax about a dead girlfriend who never existed.

He still has questions to answer, with many wondering whether he was a victim or participant in the scam. Those doubts even extended to his own campus, where he is one of the most popular players in Notre Dame's storied history.

"Whenever Manti decides to speak I'll bet the entire campus will stop what they're doing and watch what he has to say," Notre Dame student body president Brett Rocheleau said Thursday. "I think the majority of students believe in Manti. They just want to hear him answer these final few questions and hear the story from his point of view."

When Te'o will do that, like so much else about this story, is still a mystery.

An Associated Press review of news coverage found that Te'o talked about his doomed love in a Web interview on Dec. 8 and again in a newspaper interview published Dec. 10. He and the university said he learned on Dec. 6 that it was all a hoax - not only was she not dead, she wasn't real.

On Thursday, a day after the bizarre news broke, there were questions about whether he really was duped, as he claimed, or whether he and the university were complicit in the hoax and misled the public, perhaps to improve his chances of winning the Heisman. He came in second, propelled by one of the most compelling plot lines of the season.
Yahoo sports columnist Dan Wetzel said the case has "left everyone wondering whether this was really the case of a naïve football player done wrong by friends or a fabrication that has yet to play to its conclusion."

Gregg Doyel, national columnist for, was more direct.
"Nothing about this story has been comprehensible, or logical, and that extends to what happens next," he wrote. "I cannot comprehend Manti Te'o saying anything that could make me believe he was a victim."
On Wednesday, Te'o and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said the player was drawn into a virtual romance with a woman who used the phony name Lennay Kekua, and was fooled into believing she died of leukemia in September. They said his only contact with the woman was via the Internet and telephone. Te'o was not at the news conference; the school released a 225-word statement from him.
Te'o also lost his grandmother - for real - the same day his girlfriend supposedly died, and his role in leading Notre Dame to its best season in decades endeared him to fans and put him at the center of one of college football's feel-good stories of the year.
Relying on information provided by Te'o's family members, the South Bend Tribune reported in October that Te'o and Kekua first met, in person, in 2009, and that the two had also gotten together in Hawaii, where Te'o grew up.
Sports Illustrated posted a previously unpublished transcript of a one-on-one interview with Te'o from Sept. 23. In it, he goes into great detail about his relationship with Kekua and her physical ailments. He also mentioned meeting her for the first time after a game in California.
"We met just, ummmm, just she knew my cousin. And kind of saw me there so. Just kind of regular," he told SI.
Among the outstanding questions: Why didn't Te'o ever clarify the nature of his relationship as the story took on a life of its own?
Te'o's agent, Tom Condon, said the athlete had no plans to make any public statements in Bradenton, Fla., where he has been training with other NFL hopefuls at the IMG Academy.
Notre Dame said Te'o found out that Kekua was not a real person through a phone call he received at an awards ceremony in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 6. He told Notre Dame coaches about the situation on Dec. 26.
The AP's media review turned up two instances during that gap when the football star mentioned Kekua in public.
Te'o was in New York for the Heisman presentation on Dec. 8 and, during an interview before the ceremony that ran on the, the website for a South Bend TV station, Te'o said: "I mean, I don't like cancer at all. I lost both my grandparents and my girlfriend to cancer. So I've really tried to go to children's hospitals and see, you know, children."
In a column that first ran in The Los Angeles Times, on Dec. 10, Te'o recounted why he played a few days after he found out Kekua died in September, and the day she was supposedly buried.
"She made me promise, when it happened, that I would stay and play," he said on Dec. 9 while attending a ceremony in Newport Beach, Calif., for the Lott Impact Awards.
On Wednesday, when broke the story, Swarbrick said Notre Dame did not go public with its findings sooner because it expected the Te'o family to come forward first.
Asked if the NCAA was monitoring the Te'o story for possible rules violations, NCAA President Mark Emmert said:
"We don't know anything more than you do," he told reporters at the organization's convention in Dallas. "We're learning about this through the stories just the same as you are. But we have to wait and see what really transpired there. It's obviously (a) very disturbing story and it's hard to tell where the facts lie at this point.
"But Notre Dame is obviously looking into it and there will be a lot more to come forward. Right now, it just looks ... well, we don't know what the facts are, so I shouldn't comment beyond that."


Anonymous said...

OT: Hi Peter.
Here is a case you may be interested in.
A homeless man steals TOOTHPASTE from a CVS store and flees. The manager of the CVS runs out after him and chokes the homeless man to death while bystanders hold him down. The police said it was an accident. The coroner said it was a homicide. No charges were filed at the time.

Unknown said...

An ex-teammate just told ESPN that Te'o had a huge ego. He directed everyone around him to watch attentively anytime he saw himself on television. I think he started the "girlfriend" story either as a misguided attempt to boost his ego, or to conceal an intimate long-distance relationship with a guy. As his stock kept rising, he may have decided to end the facade before he was exposed, by getting rid of his fake girlfriend somehow. That's when he may have gotten the idea to use that opportunity to artificially create a new kind of "Notre Dame" legend, centered around himself, that would trump the old " just one for the Gipper" speech by Knute Rockne. Creating a story to replace one of the greatest moments in football history would've required Te'o to "go huge." Having his grandmother, whose memory he belittled with this actions, AND his girlfriend die the very same day was definitely big enough (if they'd have won the championship). I couldn't believe his coaches didn't MAKE him evaluate his priorities properly and go back to Hawaii for his grandmother's funeral; I posted a status update to my friends on Facebook about that at the time.

He might have thought such a lie, combined with a great individual performance in the next game - the game he played because his dead girlfriend told him to play instead of attending her funeral ("Win one for the GF'er") - would propel him to the Heisman ceremony, give his team the motivation they needed to compete and win (they weren't that great, and definitely overachieved), improve his stock in the upcoming draft, and enable the new "Manti Legend" to supplant all of the previous ones in Irish lore. If he did try to create a self-centered mythos using deception without considering the ethical implications, he'll likely be drafted by Baltimore as a perfect replacement for Ray Lewis.

rob said...

Reverse, that is exactly what I was thinking, either he thought it would somehow boost his career, thru the sympathy factor OR he was really Gay, or afraid of women, and thought the fake gf, that he liked to talk about, would make his situation easier.

All I can say for him, is at least he is young and dumb, and maybe can grow out of it.

Mainah said...

Could you SCAN the athletic directer's statements?

The AD is red flaggin' all over. The cover-up is growing, that is to say a lot of people joined in, volunteering themselves as truth/facts/logic-defying obstacles. Someone is going to break from the lie soon and expose the truth. That person(s) will be ridiculed, scorned, maybe killed, in order to stop the truth from "coming out."

The cover-up often seems worse then the truth, IMO.

Here are some links (it's getting worse, sadder - my reality, that is-I'm in prayer for the innocent victims of this mess).

Dated yesterday, new pieces to the puzzle(?):

Notre Dame PR, no mention, but likely significant, see the date:

(ugh)The statements and video of the deceiver(s) in action. A virtual bottomless cesspool of truth buried fiction:

BostonLady said...

People lie for a reason. Something pushed him to make all of this up. Is he hiding a gay lifestyle as some have suggested? He also didn't think this through as his stories are so obviously fake. He uses "just" in most of his statements.

Did he get caught up in his own lies and couldn't find a way out so he "killed" off the fake g/f? Or did he really mean to use this lie to advance his career?

People lie for a reason.

Mainah said...

OT: (see above anon).

Was a man murdered for stealing toothpaste, and did a cover up follow, including with the assistance of LE? What the...???

This is horrible...truth and justice is a long time in the revealing.

"The video appears to capture Kyser fleeing to the alley with the store manager close behind him. There's a brief struggle before Kyser hits the pavement, with the store manager on top of him.
Another man appears to punch and kick Kyser, at one point stepping down on his hand while the store manager remains atop Kyser. More bystanders join in, helping to hold Kyser down. Eventually, Kyser stops flailing his legs, the video shows.
A police officer arrives minutes later, followed by more cops and then an ambulance. But emergency responders are unable to revive Kyser.

"The video was reviewed by detectives as part of their investigation at the time," Chicago Police Department spokeswoman Lt. Maureen Biggane said. "It was determined that criminal charges were not warranted."

In other words...

reviewed = minimizing evidence value

their investigation = not mine

at the time = perhaps at another different time it may be a different truth/reality/fact(?)

"It was determined that criminal charges were not warranted" = something else could have been warranted and a different determination could have been made.


Mainah said...

Boston Lady:

I have pondered all the same. And, the idea that he "killed" her off, even if perceived sweetly and fictionally seems no joke to me. I wonder if that suggest, or reveals something. It entered his language/thinking for a reason. It could have been the timing of grammah dying, he seems to have a very shallow pool of experiences to draw from.

I futther ponder: Why would a smart, young, Mormon, go to Notre Dame (Catholic School) perform as a diligent student and exceptional athlete, a loving family man; create a fake woman and then slow torture her off (verbally speaking)?

Yes. It appears we do live in Opposite-ville, USA, right next to Duping-land, USA

Vita said...

Reverse, Rob,
Thinking about that as well. A fictitious girlfriend. Why a created GF would be of his advantage. He being popular by his history created on campus, his football stance. Girls on campus, girls at games attempting his attention. Girls love football players.

He being free agent? he to have girls constant flirting with him, the knowing he did not have a girlfriend. He and his male (cohort) or he alone, or his cohort to create this online remote, removed, off site " girl" for him. Girls on campus then to approach him, he to respond, sorry I am taken. I have a girlfriend. He to walk away, no questions asked.

Detour or lure. He chose to detour women away from him, using his fake created girlfriend. She then needed a personality? people were not buying it? so she became virtual, built upon layers of stories, we are committed online. We see each other, when we can.

Thinking of the amount of energy it would take to carry this on for years. The payoff must have been beneficial at first. Either he has issues with intimacy, having a one one relationship with girls (mentally emotionally), or he created her to hide, his truth, which is, he is in the closet. He living secretly on the " Down Low", his religion to be entangled. The stigma attached to be learned, that he is gay. He playing on Notre Dame, he to go to any length to protect his secret? he by creating all this, his stories, did the opposite, it highlighted him into the spot light.

Crazy as it is, was on TV two nights ago. Law and Order, SVU. A man found murdered, a who dunnit. The trail to lead to one, friend of the victim, for years. He the last to see him alive. Tracing the victims past, his autopsy, he is found to be HIV positive. The connection found, to lead to a group of men, meeting every Weds to play poker. Found, one, a famous pro football player. He forced to admit his dating status, his said, he dated beautiful women publicly, yet only had sex with men, secretly. He not able though to say it himself, I am gay. He could not, as he screamed to Finn, I only date women! Finn to tell him, News flash, You are Gay. He in denial, I only hook up with married men, it's discreet, no one to know of their meetings on Weds. He would not acknowledge, was his Football career that kept him mentally in denial. He 100 percent assured that no one knew of his secret, therefore he was straight. Fate worse then death, his belief Gays do not play for the NFL, therefore again, I am not gay.

Manti's father to commit to the lie, she exists. His team advisers to commit to the lie she exists.
This a whole lot of protection, united front, for a made up, created girlfriend. Manti an investment to both, his career the glue to bind them.

Now found she never existed, does not exist, she fictitiously played/used to boast his football career. He Manti' his education, his football career at risk for years. He had to have support of others to keep this alive, protected. Who had the most to lose, had he "she" been exposed earlier is the question.

To know it was a lie is one thing, to continue the lie and support it is another. Those who knew or ?, to use Fictitious Girl to garner publicity, sympathy, promotions goes without saying - it was working, for not only him, for them as well. What is not understood is how HIGH the tales became, the higher they became, the risk to lose everything to increase. This why she had to die a horrible death? Boggling.

Deadspin reports she became a known in his life, in 2009. The girl who's photos were used, creating the online identity speaks:

Mainah said...

I believe you, Vita.

brosnanfan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brosnanfan said...

Obviously, SA has flagged deception in his comments about meeting his supposed girlfriend, and when this supposed girlfriend supposedly died. That was obviously deceptive, the jury has reached a verdict on that point.

But, could it possibly be so that he WAS duped into an online relationship with someone who was not what they portrayed themselves to be? In this day and age, there are tons of internet dating sites. Virtual "romance" is not uncommon between two people who have never met. People become "friends" on facebook who have never met one another. MTV has a show called "Catfishing", about people who dupe others over the internet into thinking they are in an online "relationship". It certainly isn't unheard of to have an online "relationship" where the two people have never met. I personally don't think it is advisable, but it is not unheard of or impossible. Today's young people seem to look at the internet as just another way to meet a boyfriend or girlfriend; kind of a big party with lots of different people in different rooms of one really large "house".

Perhaps Te'o was embarrassed at having an exclusively online relationship. Despite the openness of young people to virtual relationships, there is still a stigma among many (rightly so, IMO) about people who are only romantically connected through the internet. Maybe he was embarrassed that a big, handsome football player such as himself couldn't get a "real-life" girlfriend, so he made up stories about how they had met in person. This would have been at any point before December.

Then, after he found out the truth about the deception in early December, he felt like he had to save face until such time as he could figure out what to do. He did talk to his parents over the Christmas break about it. However, to his detriment, he kept putting it off, maybe hoping it would all just magically go away, until finally he was outed by Deadspin.

I am not saying he did not make up meeting a girlfriend, who then tragically died; I am saying that I don't think we have enough evidence to say HE completely originated the lie of the made-up girlfriend, who then tragically died. I am not completely convinced the lie originated with him, but I am also not completely convinced it didn’t; perhaps his part of the lie happened after he found out he was duped. We don't have much other than his prepared statement after the fact to go on and analyze. I think that any of the above scenarios by other posters could be true, but there also could be other scenarios not yet explored. My opinion is that we need a recent statement by Te'o to analyze, perhaps an interview conducted by a skilled interviewer. I think then we can have something to work with and can then make more of an informed decision as to whether or not Te'o is lying about the entire thing.

He definitely could have made up a dead girlfriend to drum up support or sympathy or whatever, perhaps to help him win the Heisman. But he could have also been duped. I think the jury is still out on that one part of this story.

I would like to have a recent statement to run through SA to truly get to the bottom of this whole thing. I'm withholding judgment until such time.

(I deleted my earlier post because I felt I need to clarify a few points I was trying to make.)

brosnanfan said...

Well, I should check Google News before I post. Ask, and you will receive.

brosnanfan said...