The Manti Te'o death hoax scandal just got more complex. Although Notre Dame has told its staffers to keep quiet, players apparently have not been similarly informed. According to a Thursday post on the site Pepper on Sports (which is written by sportswriter Jackie Pepper), the team knew that Te'o's girlfriend Lennay Kekua wasn't real.
The information reportedly came from an unnamed Notre Dame Fighting Irish football player. According to the player, who requested anonymity,
No we all knew he had only seen her once. But when the media was saying how he went through both deaths we knew.
It was therefore when Te'o and the media reported that on Sept. 12, not only did his grandmother die, but Kekua did, as well, just hours later, after a battle with leukemia.
The source did defend Te'o, saying that he believed the Heisman Trophy finalist had been duped, meaning he was not a party to the original hoax. There are still questions about Te'o meeting Kekua -- the player said, above, that Te'o met the faux Kekua, but the woman who was pictured in images on the Web said she never met him.
Whether or not Te'o was party to the hoax, the source said that he felt -- as some have theorized -- that Te'o kept the story in the news due to the publicity.
Yeah. Right after the Michigan [State] game. He should have never brought her in the media. His grandma passing was enough.
During that Michigan State game, which the Irish won 20-3, Te'o had a game to end all games, with a season-high 12 tackles, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
The source did admit, though, that the media should have been better fact-checkers, saying, “He lied, but the media blew it up."
Whoever the source is, and he was anonymous, he has earned a black mark with his teammates. Notre Dame defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore tweeted the following:
Who ever was the teammate that did that interview on pepper on sports and wanted to keep his name "annoynus" is really a punk
Wide receiver John Goodman tweeted:
Whichever one of our teammates kept their name 'anonymous' in that PepperOnSports article is a complete coward and I hope they r embarrassed