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The 5 Biggest Lies of the Manti Te’o Case

I know a touch more about the whole Manti Te’o situation than I’m comfortable admitting, and through that knowledge, I’ve come to develop some very strong opinions. The only problem is that some of these opinions sort of cancel the others out. Which basically means this: even though I have strong opinions, I’ll never be 100% certain of what, exactly, happened in this strange saga. What the motives are. What the rationale behind it all was. Because none of it makes sense.

But I am 100% sure of this. There are many lies sprinkled within the sordid details. And the fact that none of them make sense doesn’t deter me. Remember, I’m the father of five-year-old triplets. So I’m totally used to lies that seemingly serve no purpose. Which is what seems to be the case with this bizarre saga. Here are five such lies:

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  • No hospital visit 1 of 5
    No hospital visit
    Manti and Lennay were trying to set up a meeting during a layover Manti had in San Diego as he flew home to Hawaii. Instead, she had a coma-inducing car wreck. Yet Manti didn't go visit her in the hospital despite the fact he still flew through San Diego. This doesn't make sense and was a key sticking point for Katie Couric. It is for me, too.
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  • No taxis? 2 of 5
    No taxis?
    According to the transcript from his off-camera interview with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap, Manti tells of a time when he and Lennay were both in (on?) Hawaii at the same time, only she was all the way on the other side of the island. So he spent the night with a friend whose house was 15 minutes away from where she was staying. Manti didn't have a car, but Lennay did. Only one catch. Her brother was using it.
    So these two had been in contact for two years at that point, and one on them didn't think to pony up 30 bucks for a taxi? Doesn't make sense.
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  • Dead sibling phone plan 3 of 5
    Dead sibling phone plan
    This one isn't so much a lie as it is unbelievable. Manti had a bunch of contact with Lennay's relatives throughout the entire ordeal. Both before she died and after. And that correspondence all came through Lennay's phone. And that should make red flags go off in anyone's mind. My sister died a couple of years ago, now. (Love you, H.) And it's not like we ever busted out a bunch of texts and phone calls from her phone. Before or after she died. So, what, Lennay's relatives didn't have cell phones? Or maybe it's just that Lennay had this incredibly kick-ass plan? If it's the latter, they should market it as the Dead Sibling Plan or something.
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  • No contact info 4 of 5
    No contact info
    During the Katie Couric interview, Manti's dad said that they've communicated with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo's family via an intermediary. Why via an intermediary? Because they had no contact info for Ronaiah. Yet in his interview with Schaap, Manti indicated that he'd heard from Tuiasosopo on January 16th -- the same day Deadspin broke the story. And he'd heard from him via a DM on Twitter. So they had some contact info. Maybe Ronaiah deleted the account and they, therefore, couldn't reach him. But if that were the case, Manti's dad should have spelled it out. Because at this point we know for a fact, in a best case scenario, his son totally lied to the press about the extent of his relationship with Lennay. Which means the Te'os should all be as transparent as humanly possible. As it is now, it just sounds like yet another lie.
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  • No obituary 5 of 5
    No obituary
    I've never NOT read the obituary of someone I've known who's passed away. Period. So I categorically refuse to believe that Manti wouldn't have tried to Google Lennay's obituary. Why? SHE WAS HIS GIRLFRIEND. THAT'S WHY! So, of course, he would have Googled her obituary. And when he did and failed to find it, he would have had to have had strong suspicions. There were ten days that passed between the time Lennay died and the day she was buried -- which just happened to be the same day as the Michigan game. And if you watched that game, it was gripping. I hate Notre Dame football, yet even I got chills when the fans waved their leis in honor of the grieving Te'o. And he let it all happen despite the fact that he would have had plenty of time to discover that there was no obituary, thereby realizing that something was dreadfully awry.
    Shame on him for this. Not just for toying with a zillion people's emotions, but for disparaging his grandmother, who actually had passed. He did her and her legacy a very real disservice when made her share the stage with the dead woman who never existed.
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Read more of JCO Multiplied:
My Life’s Profound New Goal
NYC Nanny Killings: Personalizing the Tragedy
7 Things You Should NOT Discuss With the Parents of Triplets
How the DVR Ruined My Vacation in Specific and Parenting in General
15 Things Every Stepparent Should Know
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter
Check out my personal blog over at JohnCaveOsborne(dot)com

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