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Jason Schmitt is the editor of, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Te'o's story unusual, but not uncommon

I'm not about to judge Manti Te'o and his story, claiming ignorance. I don't know all the facts. On the surface it looks like he knew more about it than he's leading on. If not, then it's scary to see just how naive he was about this whole situation.
The bigger issue to me is the lack of respect people show these days. If he was a part of the hoax, shame on him. Shame on him big time. If he was an unwilling participant, or victim as he and Notre Dame are claiming, then shame on those responsible for luring him in. And shame on them for using a deadly disease in doing so.
We here at the paper were victims of a hoax - albeit on a much smaller scale - a month back. Not only was there some misinformation out there in the twittersphere, but our account was hacked and that information sent out to our 3,500 Twitter followers.
What seemed like a harmless joke, a prank played on (or by) a local athlete, turned into a fiasco here at our office. We spent time that night attempting to protect our accounts. We spent time reaching out to coaches/administrators to find out what may have happened. The next day several emails were exchanged, a few phone calls made, to try and come to a solution to the problem
Later in the week, more phone calls, to other coaches and the father of the responsible party. In the end, we spent a number of hours trying to fix a problem caused by what was supposed to be a "Joke."
Again, it's not a matter of the act itself was, but rather the lack of respect by those involved. A lack of respect for our product. A lack of respect for my time, the time of the coaches, administrators. There's always a cause and effect. Think before you act. Know the consequences.
I think Manti Te'o will have to face some consequences, one way or another.

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