I've already stated my opinions on Te'o. He's immature and has been known to lie. I'm sorry some have a problem with me not going into detail, but there is a time and a place for anything. I am also Mormon. We have a "code" so to speak, where we don't go talking about people's past transgressions, even if we know about them. We do it out of respect, and because we believe that people can be forgiven. This is getting religious, so I'll just say that if I knew something about somebody that they had done at some point and they had moved forward with their life then it isn't my place to "out them". So that's why I left what happened here alone completely. It isn't my job. I just stated he was immature and was known to stretch the truth and that was pretty much it. I'll stand by that.
But I'll throw another part of the Mormon culture out there, just as a devil's advocate to myself if nobody else. If young men in the LDS church aren't married by the time they are 22 or so then people start to talk and call them a menace or whatever. If they aren't actively dating LDS girls seeking out their "partner forever" then they are given all kinds of crap. It's a cultural thing. Not a religious rule. It is just the way people are, and the pressure is INTENSE. I wasn't married until 3 days before I turned 27 and my wife was 26 and we got so much crap from people that I really can't explain it.
I am sure each of you in your own culture or community have certain community or cultural things that are common and you just accept them, but if you look at them as an outside observer they seem pretty silly. I always though the "get married ASAP" thing was stupid. I waited a long time. I was in no hurry. I wanted to have at least one college degree finished, a life established, a 401k started, etc. etc. My wife was a career gal and wanted to get married earlier, but she also wanted me to establish a life first.
So.... him being a stud football player and not being married, probably felt a tremendous pressure from his family for not being engaged and married and popping out kids yet. If you look at the typical LDS kid, they are married by 23 at the absolute latest and already have a kid. My sister got married at 23 and people were giving her business for being an "old maid". Kind of weird for sure. But also, he probably had tail chasing him like crazy as the star player on a powerhouse team. How does he explain to "the guys" that he isn't going to parties and hooking up with every girl in sight, while still maintaining his standards (if he did so)? By saying, "No guys, you've got it all wrong. I have a girlfriend, and I see her during school breaks, and I am faithful to her, so I won't go to your parties and be tempted and blah blah blah."
This is an easy out for him if he has a pretend girlfriend, but is waiting to meet somebody 'real' after he finishes school and by doing so keeps the pressure off from family, others of his faith, etc.
Likely? Not really. But i've seen some similar things happen. Guys will make up excuses why they can't do certain things, because deep down they want to follow their religion's rules, but they hate to say it upfront for fear of mockery. Like the guys who just flat-out don't want to drink, it's not acceptable in their religion, and so they say, "Well, I'm allergic to alcohol" rather than, "I don't drink, because it runs counter to my beliefs."
Just another random possible take. There is actually a saying a lot of people use around here, and that is "any young man who isn't married by 22 is a menace to society." It is said tongue in cheek because supposedly Brigham Young said it a long time ago (also half tongue in cheek), but that pressure is very real. It is common in his culture AND his religion, and he's the fish out of water at a Catholic school, so maybe he set it up as a cover, because there was somebody he wanted to be with that was elsewhere (back home perhaps) and he couldn't be with her (or him... who knows???) until he had gotten his first NFL contract and could afford to get married and buy a home and so forth. Again, not saying that's the case, but having felt that pressure firsthand as a nobody, I can only imagine what the pressure would feel like dealing with that same crap and being a real somebody like Manti is. The story gets out of control, he realizes people are going to check and he kills her off hoping nobody notices. The media then runs with it and now he's really screwed and can do nothing but play along, which is something the Manti I've not known personally, but known OF and ABOUT for many many years. He is prone to not thinking things through and ends up in a stupid situation. It wouldn't be the first time and likely won't being the last. He's not a criminal. He's not a terrible guy. He's just not very smart in some ways, and he's not a real forward thinker unfortunately. Consequences seem to be new to him because he's such a terrific athlete.
Tons of great athletes get a free pass their whole life. Leonard Little killed people driving and then went ahead and enjoyed a lucrative NFL career. Don't ever tell me star athletes don't live by a different set of rules. Lawrence Taylor isn't in prison. OJ Simpson was found not guilty. This is small potatoes and the media loves a tragic story and overcoming tough odds. They are complicit.
R.I.P. Dad. I miss you. You will never be forgotten
1/12/39 - 8/7/08