TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Troy Polamalu 'unfairly dragged into' Manti Te'o drama

Chaz Palla | Tribune Review - Steelers strong saftey Troy Polamalu during practice at St. Vincent College July 31, 2012.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Chaz Palla | Tribune Review</em></div>Steelers strong saftey Troy Polamalu during practice at St. Vincent College July 31, 2012.
ASSOCIATED PRESS - Arizona Cardinals' Reagan Maui'a (45) stretches prior to an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010, in Glendale, Ariz. The Rams defeated the Cardinals 19-6. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>ASSOCIATED PRESS</em></div>Arizona Cardinals' Reagan Maui'a (45) stretches prior to an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010, in Glendale, Ariz.  The Rams defeated the Cardinals 19-6. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Steelers/NFL Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Alan Robinson
Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, 1:52 p.m.
 

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu had no involvement in the fictitious girlfriend story involving Notre Dame star Manti Te'o, according to NFL fullback Reagan Maui'a.

At a news conference Wednesday night, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said an investigative firm found that Te'o had only an online relationship with the woman — who did not exist — and that several people perpetuated the hoax.

Te'o gave multiple interviews during his career about the alleged girlfriend, who supposedly went to Stanford and died of leukemia within hours of the passing of Te'o's grandmother last season.

The girlfriend also was said to have been in a serious car accident, although no reports of the crash ever surfaced. In fact, Stanford officials say they have never heard of Lennay Kekua.

Even as a Deadspin.com article posted Wednesday revealed that Kekua didn't exist, Maui'a, who played for the Cardinals last season, told ESPN.com he met her in person when he and other Polynesian teammates and Polamalu did charity work in American Samoa in June 2011.

However, Maui'a posted a Twitter message Thursday reading, “Troy Polamalu did not meet or know of her @ all. He's been unfairly dragged into this and & has absolutely no involvement.” Maui'a said he was done giving interviews about the story.

Polamalu could not be reached for comment, but he retweeted the message to his more than 500,000 followers. By retweeting the message, Polamalu apparently was concerned that he could be linked to the story.

Te'o has not spoken publicly about the disclosure that his girlfriend was not real. He issued a statement Wednesday and apparently will give an interview within the next few days.

Te'o, considered a likely top-10 draft pick despite a poor BCS title game against Alabama, is training in Bradenton, Fla., in advance of the NFL draft. He will not play in the Senior Bowl, which is heavily scouted by NFL teams, including the Steelers.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at arobinson@tribweb.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Steelers

  1. Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless
  2. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  3. Steelers notebook: LB Dupree sits out backs-on–backers drill
  4. Inside the Steelers: Williams’ quickness out of backfield evident in drills
  5. Steelers unfazed by Patriots quarterback Brady suspension saga
  6. Steelers’ Wheaton adjusting his game moving to slot receiver
  7. Steelers LB Timmons has grown into leadership role on defense
  8. Steelers RB Archer trying to catch up after tough rookie season
  9. Steelers’ offense outshines defense like never before
  10. Inside the Steelers: Ventrone suffers right ankle injury
  11. Steelers’ Brown arrives in style, vows to be ‘the best in the world’