22 Biggest Sports Controversies of 2013

Aaron Hernandez, Manti Te'o and more of the year's most troubling sports stories

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Manti Te'o Gets Catfished
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8. Manti Te'o Gets Catfished

At one point, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was a 2012 Heisman Trophy candidate with an unusually inspirational story: He was playing despite the heartache of having his grandmother and girlfriend recently die on the same day. Unfortunately for Te'o and his supporters, it turned out that the girlfriend – whom he'd never actually met in person – wasn't dead, and had never existed. She was invented and impersonated by a male acquaintance of Te'o's named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Once the truth came out, Te'o simultaneously became a figure of curiosity and the poster boy for victims of online personality hoaxes, a practice known as catfishing.  

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