Image Patrol: Manti vs. Lance: One Can Plead Youth, the Other Should Know Better


Anyone who aspires to sports star status should be required to successfully complete a course in public relations prior to signing any contract.

Anyone who has any knowledge of PR knows that the bigger the star the bigger the target. So it was hardly surprising that Notre Dame linebacker, Heisman Trophy candidate and all-around football darling Manti Te’o would eventually attract some negative publicity. The fact that it was self-inflicted should not come as a surprise. He’s barely old enough to drink, never mind withstand the onslaught of media attention that comes with a run for the Heisman and a chance to win the national championship with a win against top-ranked Alabama.

Katie Paine

Add to that a juicy story about a girlfriend who died tragically, but in fact never lived at all, and you have every PR crisis counselor’s fantasy client. But whoever is coaching Te’o, the college football star has managed to navigate the minefield pretty well. His biggest mistake seems to have been waiting for to break the story instead of coming clean in advance of the publication. But his most recent, honest confession to Katie Couric and the fact that there is no tangible proof that he somehow was more deeply involved in the hoax, definitely helped diffuse the disaster. Lucky for him that more heat is being applied to alleged hoax scammer Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who possibly impersonated Te’o’s fake girlfriend Lenny Kekua with a falsetto voice.

It’s tough to make this stuff up.


Access to all Crisis Insider articles, quarterly reports and valuable blueprints for crisis management.


Per Month Lowest Price


Best Value!

Unlimited access to all Premium and Crisis Insider articles and monthly reports.

First Year Offer


Per Month


Unlimited access to all Premium digital intelligence, 10-year web archive and monthly reports.

Save $140 With Annual Subscription


Per Month