WSBT talked with folks at the Eddy Street Commons near Notre Dame to hear what they’re saying.
Some are relieved Te’o finally came forward and told his side of the story, but others still have their suspicions. Most just can’t believe a man could ever consider someone he’s never met his real girlfriend.
During his 2 ½ hour interview with ESPN, Te’o answered a lot of questions. However, many people are wondering if he left out anything.
“I think it’s a complete joke,” said Purdue student Nicole Martucci. “A – I think if he’s attended such a highly intelligent school such as Notre Dame. I think it’s a phony to be honest with you.”
“If you listen to some of the interviews from the Notre Dame players, it basically was common knowledge around the football locker room that they knew what was going on and that it was kind of a good story and that Manti liked the attention, and I think that played into this,” Irish fan Jacob Acras responded.
“At some point, there had to have been a red flag to him where he realized that he got himself into something that wasn’t real,” added Jessica Acras.
“I think Manti wanted his Heisman, so the more you talk it up, the better chance you have, because I don’t think if all that stuff didn’t happen with the people dying, he doesn’t get as much credit for the team and for what he did this year,” Notre Dame student Michael Glynn said.
But Te’o still has his supporters. They say he’s a good guy, just a bit naïve.
“I’m trying to just ignore the whole thing,” Irish fan Cydney Waller noted. “I think he’s a really valuable player, and what happens in his personal life shouldn’t affect his career as a football player.”
“I really think he’s just an innocent, sweet kid who got really taken advantage of, and how somebody can get joy out of doing that to another person is just beyond me,” said Notre Dame fan Randy Deboer.
A lot of opinions, a lot of speculation, but in the end, only one person knows the truth.
In all, WSBT interviewed 10 different people for reaction on Saturday. None of them think Te’o cooked up this scheme from the beginning. Most think he was a victim early on. They don’t believe Te’o is being completely forthcoming about when he found out it was all a hoax.