Deadspin Offers Detailed and Fair Explanation of Manti Te’o Girlfriend Hoax

BY STEVEN KUBITZA

Wednesday’s revelation by Deadspin.com about Notre Dame linebacker and Heisman finalist Manti Te’o was certainly a bold and controversial claim, but given its detail it is clear this was not a side project taken up by the writers.

Authors Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey did extensive research on the topic. They conducted background checks into the identity of the girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who appears to not be a real person. The perception is that the identity was that of a “catfish,” a term used to describe someone who uses a different identity online.

This part of the story sets up the possibility that Te’o was the victim of a hoax, but there are also points that make it seem like he may have been behind it all along.

Burke and Dickey did a great job posing both possible sides of the situation, without making accusations that could come off as too bold. They lean towards the side that he was behind the situation, but they posted his statement that said he was a victim. It is a fair and professional approach to a story of such magnitude.

While many media outlets have picked up on this story, it was Burke and Dickey who broke it.

They set up a basis of evidence that will be used to further investigate their claims, which will certainly be a popular topic in the near future.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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