Notre Dame football has been in the news most of the year, but the last few weeks haven't been good publicity. Notre Dame went undefeated in the regular season for the first time since 1988. That 1988 season they beat West Virginia in the Cotton Bowl to win the National Championship. This years bowl game was a little different with a 42-14 loss to the National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide.
The season was still a huge success, and Notre Dame football is back on the map. A big reason for Notre Dame's comeback from the realms of mediocrity was linebacker Manti Te'o. He was the leader of one of the best defenses in the nation. He was also the face of the university, and a runner-up in the Heisman. Manti has had a rough year personally but his play on the field has been exceptional. He dealt with the loss of his grandmother and shortly after the loss of his girlfriend. His great season had him projected to be drafted in the top 10 in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft.
His draft stock started slipping after the National Championship Game in which he was exposed a little. He has trouble getting off the blocks of those large offensive lineman. He also didn't show the lateral movement that he will need at the next level. Most of the draft experts had him slipping to the middle of the NFL draft. He was still viewed as a great leader and still a solid draft pick. There were still a couple experts that had him in the top 10 and viewed him as a Ray Lewis type of leader.
Then out comes the news that his girlfriend passing away was a hoax. He has told his side of the story and it's hard for anyone to decide what to believe. If he wasn't part of the hoax then he comes off as very naive and probably not someone you want leading your football team. He did an off air interview with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap stating that he wanted to get his side of the story out there but didn't want to do it on camera. Manti has signed on to do a TV interview with Katie Couric now, so this just further questions his judgment.
Manti Te'o has got publicity but it's been mostly negative and most of all he has hurt his draft stock. He is now viewed as a late first round pick and might not go that high depending how he interviews with NFL teams. Keep tuned because there are sure to be more twists and turns coming from this story.