Are Notre Dame and Swarbrick Now Throwing Te’o Under the Bus?

Swarbrick was breathing hard, and desperate at that press conference: this had been his own cover-up for three weeks, and his gamble that the hoax would never surface had blown up in his face.

And Pete Thamel, Sports Illustrated’s usually implacable, dogged reporter, assigned to write their October cover story on Monti Te’o, might have failed even more miserably. The transcript of his October 2012 interview with Te’o (which Thamel had the guts to release in its’ entirety today) is just plain appalling, and shows that Monti Te’o is FOS (full of s___).

It’s obvious to anyone who reads this transcript. Te’o’s story is pure unmitigated, scatologic B.S.  And it’s painful to see Pete Thamel, who has a strong track record as a reporter, and for whom I have great respect, then fold his cards and just go home to write a glossy panegyric Monti  Te’o cover story — after sitting through this laughably phony interview. Seriously, this is a solid, relatively thorough interview, but appalling followup by Thamel. One more example of King Football getting all the breaks. Say it ain’t so, Pete– you got sucked in by the giant whooshing sound of the college football/entertainment freight train thundering next to your ear.

And, frankly Pete, Monti Te’o blew your doors off in that interview. He got what he wanted. You took his fake reality. And you ran with it.

But it’s not all Thamel’s fault, that’s for sure. And as I pointed out in my prior post, I’m more dismayed — until other facts are developed — by Swarbrick’s managerial deceit than I am by Te’o’s role. (Te’o will, I am guessing, suffer his own skewering by objective evidence at some later date.)

And look what’s happening now, even as we speak. The cracks are starting to show now in that golden Notre Dame dome. Just today, now, after Athletic Director Swarbrick’s shameless, almost snivelling teary-eyed testimonial last night to the specific effect that Monti Te’o –  who’s just some kid with great athletic ability and instincts — is as virtuous and awe-inspiring as …. St. Augustine, or St. Paul, we see today’s Yahoo Sports story by Pat Forde:

Sources: Manti Te’o’s representatives passed on chance to release story about fictional girlfriend.”

Forde is a big-foot reporter, the kind who has risen so high on the food chain so that sources now call him. To leak what they want to leak. Spin, that kind of stuff.

So now, ah, yes, here we go: Notre Dame is playing defense now, leaking externally now to an iconic reporter like Pat Forde, and starting to peel away from Te’o, trying now to lay blame on him for what was clearly within Swarbrick’s absolute managerial control as of Dec. 26, as the Athletic Director clearly in charge, and to whom Te’o would most likely defer for all decisions.

Notre Dame (and Swarbrick’s) new spin, as of this afternoon?:

Oh, but we thought Monti was going to inform the press of this awful hoax!

It’s like that story about two old ladies out for a drive, and Esther, behind the wheel, runs three red lights, to the increasing exasperation of her friend Madge sitting next to her in the passenger seat, who finally exclaims,

“Esther, did you know that you just ran three straight red lights?
To which Esther replies, turning to Madge with raised eyebrows:
“Oh, Madge, I thought YOU was drivin’ !!!

Te’o, since Dec. 26, thought Swarbrick had been driving.

And Swarbrick schnookered some 80 million or so unwitting football fans for about three weeks after he was told unequivocally that the Te’o girlfriend story was a hoax. Swarbrick hoped the story would never get out (at least until after the Bama game).

Now Swarbrick’s trying to lay it all off on Te’o. Wow.

Jack Swarbrick, you’re the good Catholic; Have you forgotten this one?:

Mea culpa, mea culpa. Mea maximus culpa.”



About brewonsouthu

lawyer, with interest in college sports and NCAA oversight and decisions, and sports generally.
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