There was no Lennay Kekua.
Lennay Kekua did not meet Manti Te’o after the Stanford game in 2009. Lennay Kekua did not attend Stanford. Lennay Kekua never visited Manti Te’o in Hawaii. Lennay Kekua was not in a car accident. Lennay Kekua did not talk to Manti Te’o every night on the telephone. She was not diagnosed with cancer, did not spend time in the hospital, did not engage in a lengthy battle with leukemia. She never had a bone marrow transplant. She was not released from the hospital on Sept. 10, nor did Brian Te’o congratulate her for this over the telephone. She did not insist that Manti Te’o play in the Michigan State or Michigan games, and did not request he send white flowers to her funeral. Her favorite color was not white. Her brother, Koa, did not inform Manti Te’o that she was dead.
Koa did not exist. Her funeral did not take place in Carson, Calif., and her casket was not closed at 9 a.m. exactly. She was not laid to rest.
In a bizarre investigative report, Deadspin discovers that the dead girlfriend of Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o was a fabrication.
As (mis)reported by ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, CBS, The New York Post, The Los Angeles Times and The South Bend Tribune among others, the Notre Dame football star carried a heavy heart throughout the 2012 football season when both his grandmother and Lennay Kekua, his girlfriend, died hours apart on the same September day.
Kekua, supposedly, due to complications from leukemia.
Turns out, Lennay Kekua is a fiction. Te’o, who says he met Kekua online, claims he is the victim of an Internet scam.
For the news organizations reporting on — and building up — the sad tale, let’s bring you back to newsroom 101 and the importance of fact checking: Just because one outlet reports it doesn’t make it true.
Read the piece though. A bizarre tale.
For more, ESPN does a follow-up.
Have you ever read Cary Tennis? He’s the advice columnist for Salon and the reason I ask is because reading your question reminds me of him. It reminds me of him because he has the astute ability to read between the lines of life’s quandaries.
I don’t pretend to be as astute as Cary but I am going to read between your lines.
And here’s what I find: you feel burned.
You’re not only an aspiring journalist but took it seriously enough to not only work for your high school newspaper but become its Editor in Chief. You worked hard, you stayed up late, you stressed out but you did it. And then along comes another who’s a year younger but hungry just like you and the two of you butt heads over story ideas and angles and assignments and comma placement and heds and deks and everything else that goes into creating a newspaper.
And this pissed you off.
And it still pisses you off because you ended up at what you call a second rate school while she’s sitting high and mighty at one of the best colleges in the land.
Here’s what you need to do: let it go.
Will it matter that you went to a “B-rated college”? Not really. You’ll find that once you’re a few years out of college no one really cares which one you went to, or if you even went at all. What they care about is what you can actually do.
So don’t be bitter and don’t be pissed. These battles are well done gone and it’s time to move on.
And here’s what you should do: Join your college paper or — perhaps even better — find like minded collaborators and create something of your own. Then report the hell out of your subject.
Be tenacious. Write short form. Write long form. Take some multimedia classes and create in that form too.
And learn a bit of code. I can’t tell you how valuable it is to know a bit of code.
Build a body of work for yourself so that when you leave college you’re defined by the awesome that you created in college.
And then hustle. And then network. And start making yourself known to people and organizations that you think you’d like to work with some day.
Do all that and opportunities will come, regardless where you went or what’s printed on your diploma. — Michael
Communications is the second most popular basketball major, with 72 players studying it. Although communications and its variations are extremely popular, only four students are majoring in journalism. This is all the evidence you need to confirm that basketball players are not stupid.
Justin Peters, Slate, Are You Sports Management or Communications?
In which he explores the majors that college basketball stars pursue.