Another new piece of information has leaked in the whirlwind Manti Te'o story. According to the site Pepper on Sports (written by sports journalist Jackie Pepper), a Notre Dame player said the team knew that Te'o's girlfriend Lennay Kekua wasn't real.
"No we all knew he had only seen her once. But when the media was saying how he went through both deaths we knew."
The Irish player said that the team suspected something was up after Kekua passed away very soon after the death of his grandmother. Although the player said that Te'o was acting it up, he also placed some blame on the media for not fact-checking and figuring out the lie sooner than this.
Early in my conversation with the source, the Notre Dame player said, "He lied, but the media blew it up."
That player wished to remain anonymous in order to protect his identity. It's probably a good idea, because some Notre Dame football players don't appear to be too happy with this leak. Defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore and wide receiver John Goodman tweeted the following statements in response to the quotes.
Who ever was theteammate that did that interview on pepper on sportsand wanted to keep his name "annoynus" is really a punk ___________.— Kapron Lewis-Moore (@KLM_89) January 17, 2013
Whichever one of our teammates kept their name 'anonymous' in that PepperOnSports article is a complete coward and I hope they r embarrassed— John Goodman (@jgoodman81) January 17, 2013
It does make one wonder whether this anonymous player is telling the truth or not. On one hand, it's anonymous. On the other hand, the original report from Deadspin came outside mainstream sources, and the pretty heated reaction from Notre Dame players seems to indicate there might be something to this story.