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Now playing in the banana republic of South Bend: Te'o and the Lying Irish

Steve Rosenbloom

The RosenBlog

9:07 AM CST, January 18, 2013

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You could choose to believe that Manti Te’o was duped in the dead fake girlfriend story.

Or you could choose to believe that the Notre Dame middle linebacker was one of the perpetrators in the hoax that was exposed in terrific reporting by Deadspin.

However, you have no choice but to believe that the sanctimonious hucksters in the banana republic of South Bend were exposed as frauds.

If you didn’t know it before, you were an idiot. You ought to see it now: The wonks in charge are as unburdened by morality as every other athletic program. They will lie, if they have to cover up something that might hurt their chances of winning a football game. They lied in the Te’o case. They admitted it.

Te’o revealed the lie of his fake dead girlfriend to Notre Dame wonks after Christmas. The school investigated and apparently verified the story before the BCS Championship Game.

And Irish wonks encouraged Te’o to continue the lie in advance of the game.

Interim atheletic director Jack Swarbrick said so during his awful-looking press conference Wednesday evening.

“We encouraged him to focus forward and focus on the game,’’ Swarbrick said.

Well, of course. The game. Focus on the game. That’s Notre Dame’s focus: the game. I’m sure there’s a piece of scripture that orders that thinking over, I don’t know, the cleansing goodness of truth.

So, the Lying Irish encouraged Te’o to perpetrate the fraud before the title game against Alabama. Officials stood by as questions about the fake girlfriend and fake death were answered as real.

Apparently, winning a football game was more important than living up to the alleged values of the institution. Notre Dame: active co-conspirators in “Operation Girlfraud.’’

That’s some leadership.

Swarbrick choked up while talking about how wonderful Te’o is, even though the player could very well be proven to be a co-conspirator in this folly, and wouldn’t that be perfect for the sanctimonious hucksters in the banana republic of South Bend right?

But even without that, let’s review the bidding here: The Irish athletic director choked up at an embarrassing press conference over a player’s dead fake girlfriend, but I can’t recall Swarbrick doing the same thing over the very real death of a student videographer who was killed by football program negligence.

Declan Sullivan was killed after being ordered to a scissors lift and after tweeting furiously about how “terrifying’’ the winds were. The high winds reach 51 mph, records said. Swarbrick went on the record as claiming the winds were unremarkable.

I can’t figure out if Swarbrick is lying or stupid --- lying to protect the cash cow football program or too stupid to come up with a good lie to protect the cash cow football program.

At this point, I’m thinking Swarbrick’s outfit for his outgoing press conference ought to include a big, red nose.

Didn’t we see enough placing of the football above everything in college in the Penn State insanity?

Doesn’t Notre Dame act like it’s better than that?

Notre Dame isn’t better than anybody.