The South Bend Tribune published a thorough accounting of Notre Dame’s reaction to the Manti Te’o/Lennay Kekua affair. This accounting revealed Notre Dame’s “investigation” to be cursory, almost designed not to find anything unsavory. It confirmed what Te’o intimated in the ESPN interview. Investigators, hired a week after speaking to Te’o, conducted no interviews. Investigating something that happened on the Internet, they did not examine e-mails, cell phone records or any other form of electronic correspondence.
The investigation ordered by Notre Dame was limited to the electronic search, Brown said. Investigators did not interview Te’o or his family, nor did anyone attempt to contact Ronaiah Tuiasosopo or any of his relatives.
In response to questions, university officials said the investigators did not examine cell phone records, e-mails or other electronic communication to determine the length or extent of Te’o’s communication over the past few years with the person claiming to be Lennay Kekua, nor did the university ask Te’o to take a lie detector test.
Notre Dame’s investigation seemed to accomplish two things. It used “sophisticated databases” to confirm Kekua did not exist. It made sure the university was not liable or further involved. The school claims it decided not to go public before the game because it would be “a circus” and “unfair to the players.” (That’s what this multi-billion dollar tax-free industry is about, right? The players?) They agreed to let Te’o and his agent (hired after the game) handle the reveal, which did not happen before the Deadspin piece ran.
This whole Te’o scandal is a puzzle with pieces missing. Notre Dame had no interest in looking under couch cushions to find them.
[Photo via USA Today Sports]