Skip to content

Analyzing the different angles of the Te’o situation

Jan 17, 2013, 4:37 PM EDT

2012 Heisman Trophy Presentation Getty Images

We look forward to getting back to Notre Dame football coverage. With college all-star games being played and recruiting taking some wild twists and turns, getting the focus off the soap opera surrounding Manti Te’o would be a welcome change after a very long night and morning.

Still, it’s hard to quantify just how large this story has gotten. Our initial reaction piece led the coverage on NBC News’ website, and we are well on our way to an all-time daily high for pageviews. In a story that gets more and more confusing (not to mention depressing) the deeper you dig, a hoax likely perpetrated by a young man hiding out in his parents house in Palmdale, California, still has a few chapters to be written.

Yet this story will have trouble advancing until we hear from Te’o. And while he and his new team are busy at work likely preparing for an onslaught of media attention, the All-American linebacker certainly has some explaining to do.

But let’s take a look at this story from a few more angles:

DRAFT STOCK

Does this hurt Manti Te’o’s draft stock? Only 32 decision makers can answer that, though it won’t stop most of us from talking about it for the next few months. That said, each and every team will have an opportunity to go one-on-one with Te’o at the NFL scouting combine, where they’ll get the linebacker free of his agent and media team. There will be some pretty intense discussions in Indianapolis, and you’ll like hear that Te’o came out of each and every one of them in good shape.

Some journalists have downgraded Te’o, even if he wasn’t in on the hoax, because he was duped. That led a guy like Skip Bayless to downgrade Te’o’s “intangibles,” while pulling away from his previous comparison to Ray Lewis. It shouldn’t be hard for guys like Skip to think back and remember when Ray Lewis was entangled in his own media mess. And it was a lot worse than falling in love with an imaginary girlfriend.

But making Te’o the face of your franchise might have gotten a lot tougher for teams picking at the top of the first round. And even if he runs and tests and talks as well as anyone could hope in the months leading to the draft, that perception might be hard to overlook.

***

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

***

THE FOOTBALL PROGRAM

While Te’o is no longer a part of the Irish football program, Notre Dame saw fit to spend an hour answering questions and discussing candidly what they knew about the situation, filling in important pieces in the timeline, and putting the onus on their former star linebacker to tell his side of the story.

It’s been a chaotic 10 days for the Irish football program. After being embarrassed against Alabama on the biggest stage of college football, the program hung in limbo while head coach Brian Kelly pondered the Philadelphia Eagles job that eventually went to Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. Players, staff members and coaches didn’t really know what Kelly planned to do, but when he said he was coming back, the Irish got a huge boost. But all of that is up for grabs after yesterday’s revelations.

Cynics will connect the Te’o story to some media machine working double-time to promote the Fighting Irish. But those same cynics seem to have selective memory, especially thinking back to August when that very same machine had backed its tires over the Notre Dame football program and left it for dead.

This was a situation Notre Dame knew would eventually be exposed and the university’s immediate statement and Swarbrick’s press conference showed the seriousness of it all. Expect Brian Kelly to field questions when he’s back from recruiting, adding another layer of fun to Signing Day.

THE RECRUITING CLASS

It might be a stretch to think that anything happening in the media could directly effect the Irish’s recruiting efforts. But don’t think this punch line isn’t appreciated by teams working overtime to protect their players from the hard charging Irish coaching staff.

Notre Dame is still on pace to have one of the more exciting weekends in January the football program has ever seen. The Irish will welcome touted defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes, along with a handful of other players next weekend, all entertaining the idea of filling the final spots in this heralded recruiting class.

Yet this situation will most definitely come up in the living rooms of recruits everywhere. In many ways, it might have taken the spotlight off Brian Kelly, a guy who looked like he had one foot out the door to some earlier in the week.

The Irish have too good of a class to let anything fall apart in the next few weeks, and are well on their way to laying the tracks for their 2014 class. But this is sure to have recruits — the majority of whom spend a ton of time online — paying attention. For good reasons and bad.

Latest Posts
  1. The good, the bad, the ugly: Notre Dame vs. Syracuse

    Sep 29, 2014, 11:42 AM EDT

    William Fuller, C.J. Prosise William Fuller, C.J. Prosise

    On second inspection, Notre Dame did some very impressive things in their 31-15 victory over Syracuse. But the head-scratching mistakes that revealed themselves in the season’s fourth game also gave us our first sign of some flaws that many had hoped this young team was past.

  2. Five things we learned: Notre Dame 31, Syracuse 15

    Sep 28, 2014, 1:56 AM EDT

    Torii Hunter Jr., Corey Robinson, Ben Koyack Torii Hunter Jr., Corey Robinson, Ben Koyack

    Earlier in the week, Brian Kelly was asked about his last time in MetLife Stadium. He almost chuckled to himself, wondering when Notre Dame’s humbling, one-sided defeat to Navy in 2010 would be drudged up again this week.

  3. Live Blog — Notre Dame vs. Syracuse

    Sep 27, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

    Everett Golson Everett Golson

    Returning to the New York metro area for the first time since the Pinstripe Bowl, Notre Dame looks to get to 4-0 on the season with a victory over Syracuse. For the Irish, it’s their first opportunity to play on the road, though lucky to start in the friendly confines of MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands instead of the Carrier Dome.

  4. Syracuse Mailbag: Everything under the kitchen sink

    Sep 27, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT

    Amir Carlisle Amir Carlisle

    This is such a long mailbag I’m just skipping the witty intro. Or even the halfway decent intro. So let’s get right to a tough set of questions.

  5. Daniels talks to ESPN about academic suspension

    Sep 26, 2014, 11:58 PM EDT

    DaVaris Daniels, Ricardo Allen AP

    Wide receiver DaVaris Daniels broke his silence Friday, talking with ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler about his exile as five Notre Dame football players still awaiting their university hearings. Daniels, Eilar Hardy, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams have all been withheld from football activities while the university process continues.

  6. Pregame Six Pack: Syracuse in the way of perfect September

    Sep 26, 2014, 9:26 AM EDT

    Corey Robinson Corey Robinson

    Win September. Sounds easy enough, but Notre Dame has only started 4-0 a dozen times since 1970 and just twice since the turn of the century. But by beating Syracuse on Saturday night the Irish have a chance to enter the most difficult stretch of their season on a perfect role.

  7. Notre Dame, Texas A&M announce series in 2024-25

    Sep 25, 2014, 4:03 PM EDT

    Kenny Hill Kenny Hill

    Notre Dame and Texas A&M have agreed to play a two-game, home-and-home series, starting in 2024. The Irish and Aggies will open the 2024 season in College Station before playing a late September game the following season. The two programs haven’t met on the football field since 2001.

  8. Schafer prepares for challenge from Irish offense

    Sep 25, 2014, 12:52 PM EDT

    Scott Shafer Scott Shafer

    Coming off a difficult loss to Rutgers, Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer doesn’t expect things to get easier this weekend. With the Orange giving up home field advantage as they’ve moved the game to MetLife Field, Syracuse enters the game double-digit underdogs as they prepare to take on a Notre Dame team that’s ranked No. 8 in the country.

  9. Mailbag: Now Open

    Sep 25, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT

    Mailbag

    Drop your questions below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.

  10. O-Line shuffles, Torii Hunter’s debut, and other Irish notes

    Sep 24, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Amir Carlisle Amir Carlisle

    While Brian Kelly tried to downplay the finality of the significant adjustment to the two-deep depth chart along the offensive line, he talked about the rationale for flip-flopping Christian Lombard and Steve Elmer, as well as Nick Martin and Matt Hegarty on Tuesday afternoon.

  11. And in that corner… The Syracuse Orange

    Sep 24, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT

    Maryland v Syracuse Maryland v Syracuse

    Notre Dame begins its scheduling alliance with the ACC this weekend, as the Irish take on Syracuse this Saturday night in another primetime kickoff for the Irish. Second-year coach Scott Shafer’s squad is 2-1, coming off a disappointing two-touchdown loss to Rutgers that statistically could’ve played out like a blowout win for the Orange.

  12. Conclusion of academic probe still at least a week away

    Sep 23, 2014, 5:06 PM EDT

    Rev. John Jenkins,Jack Swarbrick Rev. John Jenkins,Jack Swarbrick

    After not meeting with the media last Tuesday, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly took to the podium for his regularly scheduled weekly press conference. While he addressed changes on the offensive line, injury news and the game Saturday night against Syracuse (we’ll get to that later), he also spoke about the status of DaVaris Daniels, Eilar Hardy, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams, still held out of football activities as an academic investigation continues.

  13. Martin to guard, Lombard to tackle in OL shakeup

    Sep 23, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT

    Temple v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Rumors of some offensive line tweaks have been confirmed. On Notre Dame’s weekly depth chart, the Irish starting five up front have shifted dramatically.

  14. With bye week behind, next four Saturdays will define season

    Sep 22, 2014, 7:49 PM EDT

    Purdue v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Notre Dame enjoyed a Saturday off, a casual observer on a crazy weekend that served as the first shakeup of the season. But as Brian Kelly prepares his team for Syracuse, he’ll start a four-week stretch that’ll likely define Notre Dame’s season.

  15. Bye-week Mailbag: Life at the quarter turn

    Sep 19, 2014, 2:46 PM EDT

    Purdue v Notre Dame Getty Images

    As summer officially ends after this weekend, Notre Dame fans get one last uninterrupted Saturday to soak it in. So while the Irish are off, let’s take a look at who Notre Dame’s future opponents are playing and then get to the mailbag.

  16. Rumors swirl about offensive line shuffle

    Sep 18, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT

    notre-dame-ol

    Over the weekend, Brian Kelly talked candidly about finding a better performance from his offensive line. With talented personnel that’s still finding its identity after Zack Martin and Chris Watt graduated, Kelly and offensive line coach Harry Hiestand have an off week to find the five optimal starters — and their positions — before taking on Syracuse next weekend.

  17. Mailbag: Now Open

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:31 AM EDT

    Mailbag

    Questions before a weekend without Notre Dame football? Drop them below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.

  18. Jenkins addresses football suspensions to Notre Dame faculty

    Sep 17, 2014, 1:36 PM EDT

    Rev. John Jenkins,Jack Swarbrick Rev. John Jenkins,Jack Swarbrick

    After missing the first three games of the season, the fate of DaVaris Daniels, Eilar Hardy, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams is still up in the air. After announcing an official investigation into academic dishonesty in mid-August, updates on the status of the five players have been limited to head coach Brian Kelly’s weekly loop of uncertainty.

  19. Notre Dame bye week number crunching

    Sep 16, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

    Everett Golson Everett Golson

    With the Irish getting a much needed Saturday off, we won’t hear from Brian Kelly until he’s previewing Syracuse for us next weekend. But with one quarter of the season in the books, let’s take a look at some of the surprises after three games, digging deep in to the stats after victories over Rice, Michigan and Purdue.

  20. It’s still way too early, but Notre Dame’s path is open to CFB Playoff

    Sep 15, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT

    Tyler Murphy, Josh Bordner, Bobby Wolford, Scott Felix Tyler Murphy, Josh Bordner, Bobby Wolford, Scott Felix

    It’s still way too early.

    I’ll type it again: It’s still way too early. But with one quarter of Notre Dame’s football season behind them, the Irish’s path to the first ever College Football Playoff looks wide open.