I tried every other way to end this’

first_imgRonaiah Tuiasosopo fell as deeply in love as Manti Te’o did. Tuiasosopo, the mastermind behind the fictional Lennay Kekua, spoke publicly Thursday to Dr. Phil McGraw on “Dr. Phil.” For the first time since the hoax was revealed, Tuiasosopo offered his side of the story. “I grew feelings, I grew emotions that sooner or later I couldn’t control anymore and it just lingered on,” Tuiasosopo said in the interview, the second part of which will air today. “As twisted and confusing as it may be, yeah, I cared for this person. I did all that I could to help this person become a better person, even though I wasn’t getting nothing out of it.” When McGraw asked Tuiasosopo if he was gay, Tuiasosopo said he was confused. The 22-year old confessed to being behind the scam and said he did not perpetrate the hoax in order to gain money. He also added that his plan was cruel – but not a cruel joke – and that Te’o had no involvement. “He said nothing but things about her heart and her character had had a major impact on him and though it was deceptive, there was a lot of positive that came out of it,” Tuiasosopo said. “He really did fall in love with this character and, you know, it is what it is.” Tuiasosopo said he deployed Kekua’s leukemia as a plan to try to end things with Te’o. “I tried every other way to end this. I tried this lie and this lie and this lie but nothing would work,” Tuiasosopo said. So on Sept. 12, 2012, Tuiasosopo killed off Kekua, who had purportedly been battling leukemia, just hours after Te’o’s grandmother died. Tuiasosopo also said Te’o and Kekua broke up two weeks earlier but continued to communicate. Tuiasosopo – who had access to Te’o’s passwords – checked on his Facebook, Twitter and Skype accounts. While there were no changes on Te’o’s Facebook and Twitter, his Skype was different. When Tuiasosopo, posing as Kekua, asked Te’o if he had been Skyping other girls, the two got in an argument before Te’o said his grandmother died. Tuiasosopo said the fight quieted down until Te’o texted Kekua admitting to Skyping other girls and said he didn’t need Kekua. “It hurt me,” Tuiasosopo said. “It hit me like a brick wall. I was like, ‘Whoa, I’ve given so much into this.’ And I realized right then in that moment, that I poured so much into Lennay, that I myself was getting nothing, and look what I was left with. “Right then and there, I made the decision I can’t do this Lennay thing anymore and I ended it.” But nearly three months later, Te’o received a call from Kekua, who he thought had already died. Tuiasosopo said he called because he wanted Te’o to know the truth. “If the truth wasn’t known, it wouldn’t truly be moving on. It wasn’t the truth,” Tuiasosopo said. “I knew I needed to come clean and make everything right.” Te’o said Tuiasosopo offered him a full apology two weeks ago. Te’o and Tuiasosopo, who was acting as a family member of Kekua, met the night before the USC game in November in Los Angeles. Tuiasosopo said he wanted to confess to Te’o then but ultimately decided not to. “I wanted to tell him everything right then and there and that’s the truth,” Tuiasosopo said. “But shortly after, his uncle and a lot of his uncle’s friends and some other family, they all came in … It wasn’t the right time.” Tuiasosopo also said he was the voice behind the phone calls and voicemails to Te’o although previous reports said a cousin of Tuiasosopo’s was the voice. McGraw asked Tuiasosopo to duplicate the voice but he initially declined. The program promised to air it during Friday’s show. “Dr. Phil” airs locally on weekdays at 3 p.m. on WSBT.,Ronaiah Tuiasosopo fell as deeply in love as Manti Te’o did. Tuiasosopo, the mastermind behind the fictional Lennay Kekua, spoke publicly Thursday to Dr. Phil McGraw on “Dr. Phil.” For the first time since the hoax was revealed, Tuiasosopo offered his side of the story. “I grew feelings, I grew emotions that sooner or later I couldn’t control anymore and it just lingered on,” Tuiasosopo said in the interview, the second part of which will air today. “As twisted and confusing as it may be, yeah, I cared for this person. I did all that I could to help this person become a better person, even though I wasn’t getting nothing out of it.” When McGraw asked Tuiasosopo if he was gay, Tuiasosopo said he was confused. The 22-year old confessed to being behind the scam and said he did not perpetrate the hoax in order to gain money. He also added that his plan was cruel – but not a cruel joke – and that Te’o had no involvement. “He said nothing but things about her heart and her character had had a major impact on him and though it was deceptive, there was a lot of positive that came out of it,” Tuiasosopo said. “He really did fall in love with this character and, you know, it is what it is.” Tuiasosopo said he deployed Kekua’s leukemia as a plan to try to end things with Te’o. “I tried every other way to end this. I tried this lie and this lie and this lie but nothing would work,” Tuiasosopo said. So on Sept. 12, 2012, Tuiasosopo killed off Kekua, who had purportedly been battling leukemia, just hours after Te’o’s grandmother died. Tuiasosopo also said Te’o and Kekua broke up two weeks earlier but continued to communicate. Tuiasosopo – who had access to Te’o’s passwords – checked on his Facebook, Twitter and Skype accounts. While there were no changes on Te’o’s Facebook and Twitter, his Skype was different. When Tuiasosopo, posing as Kekua, asked Te’o if he had been Skyping other girls, the two got in an argument before Te’o said his grandmother died. Tuiasosopo said the fight quieted down until Te’o texted Kekua admitting to Skyping other girls and said he didn’t need Kekua. “It hurt me,” Tuiasosopo said. “It hit me like a brick wall. I was like, ‘Whoa, I’ve given so much into this.’ And I realized right then in that moment, that I poured so much into Lennay, that I myself was getting nothing, and look what I was left with. “Right then and there, I made the decision I can’t do this Lennay thing anymore and I ended it.” But nearly three months later, Te’o received a call from Kekua, who he thought had already died. Tuiasosopo said he called because he wanted Te’o to know the truth. “If the truth wasn’t known, it wouldn’t truly be moving on. It wasn’t the truth,” Tuiasosopo said. “I knew I needed to come clean and make everything right.” Te’o said Tuiasosopo offered him a full apology two weeks ago. Te’o and Tuiasosopo, who was acting as a family member of Kekua, met the night before the USC game in November in Los Angeles. Tuiasosopo said he wanted to confess to Te’o then but ultimately decided not to. “I wanted to tell him everything right then and there and that’s the truth,” Tuiasosopo said. “But shortly after, his uncle and a lot of his uncle’s friends and some other family, they all came in … It wasn’t the right time.” Tuiasosopo also said he was the voice behind the phone calls and voicemails to Te’o although previous reports said a cousin of Tuiasosopo’s was the voice. McGraw asked Tuiasosopo to duplicate the voice but he initially declined. The program promised to air it during Friday’s show. “Dr. Phil” airs locally on weekdays at 3 p.m. on WSBT.last_img read more

Return home feeling like ‘Groundhog Day’ for transfer

first_imgFor college freshmen, adjusting to the academic and social life is a challenge. It’s their first semester away from home, learning the college schedule and still finding time to hang out and meet new friends. For first-year college athletes, combining the rigors of practice with adjustment away from home can be a difficult transition.For University of Wisconsin women’s soccer player Sheri Ferron the adjustment has been doubly difficult — she’s had to go through the adjustment period twice. And the second time has been the charm for the sophomore.Growing up 70 miles east of Madison in Brookfield, Ferron decided to play soccer further from home to become more independent. Although Wisconsin did make a recruiting try for her, Ferron settled on the Big East school Seton Hall, located 14 miles from New York City in South Orange, New Jersey. Although the Pirates went 7-7-4 last season, Ferron did not enjoy her time in the Big East as she was barely utilized by the Seton Hall coaching staff, playing in only 13 games and scoring a single goal. After their season had concluded, Ferron knew that this wasn’t the right place for her and requested a transfer.”I got my release between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year,” Ferron recalled. “I knew that I wanted to look at other schools. So when my release became official in February, I had no idea where I wanted to go. I knew Seton Hall wasn’t a good fit. I looked at mainly Wisconsin, UW-Milwaukee and Northwestern, but had really no clue.”Despite her displeasure in New Jersey, Ferron learned a lot in her first year of collegiate soccer and knew that the skills she picked up would help her tremendously for whichever team she chose to play for next.”I learned a lot while I was there and obviously it wasn’t a good situation for me, I wouldn’t take it back because I learned so much about myself,” Ferron said. “I learned a lot about what I want out of a team and what a good team was made out of. I didn’t find that [at Seton Hall]. A lot of that team aspect has become really important to me.”When head coach Dean Duerst learned of Ferron’s decision to transfer, he gave his recruiting pitch another shot at landing the talented ball-striker. This time, he knew that Ferron wanted to be closer to home and play a style that incorporated and depended on a team-first aspect rather than the player’s individual talents. With that thought in mind, Duerst made the push for Ferron to come to Madison.”I thought she would be a great fit in our system and the way we play,” Duerst said. “I had known her for awhile. We tried to get her to see the idea of playing at Wisconsin, being from Wisconsin, and it’s not back in the Milwaukee area where you are from. With the two of us having very good phone conversations, we’re happy she came.”Senior midfielder and team captain Kara Kabellis was thrilled as well, citing the fact that although Ferron would be new to the Wisconsin system, she already had the conditioning, work ethic and games under her belt and could step right onto the field and become a factor.”Knowing you’re having transfers coming in, you know that they have had experience at the college level,” Kabellis said. “It’s reassuring that they have some time under their belt, they know the demands of it and what to expect. Sheri has excellent work ethic, smart on the ball and fits in well with us.”Although she had finally chosen a school and settled in once again, the nerves where definitely there during the first week of team workouts in the summer. Not only was she nervous about fitting in with an entirely new squadron of top-tier players, Ferron was really worried what would happen if this situation also didn’t work out for her.”During that first workout, I had a lot of reservations about ‘What if this doesn’t work out like the last time,'” Ferron said. “I was really nervous about it. With any campus, transferring is a huge risk and the negatives are always in proportion to the awards. It just happens that it worked out awesome.”The one thing that made the transition easier for Ferron was what her new head coach had told her: that the Badgers run an offense that incorporates a healthy dose of skill combined with creativity for the betterment of the team. While at Seton Hall, Ferron found herself unable to showcase her skills in a system that was entirely one-dimensional. When she finally started practicing with the Badgers, she quickly began to adjust and excel on the field. “[Wisconsin has a more] fun style of soccer than just kick and run,” Ferron said. “I like playing creative soccer and to play with the players around me. I like to take people on and that’s something that Duerst stresses and something I am trying to do more. Because [not only] does he like it but it helps the team a lot.””With how we’re playing and our personnel, she works well with Taylor [Walsh] and Allison [Preiss] up top in terms of combining and movement with those guys,” Duerst said. “One of her greatest assets is timing and being in the right place at the right time. Her timing is really good within her system.”Through 15 games this season, Ferron has had some of the best timing of all the Badgers. Ferron is second on the team in goals (4) and points (12) and leads the team in assists (4). What stands out among Ferron’s stats is that her four goals have come on only nine shots for a astronomical .444 shooting percentage. While Ferron has only started games half the season, she routinely finds herself in the right place at the right time.”Players only need a few chances,” Duerst said. “She is in and around at the right time and it only takes a touch. She’s found a knack for finding the right area to get it by the keeper. She’s actively touching the ball. We call those players finishers. You don’t need to be the big shooter and rip off the powerful shot to find a way to get the ball in the net. It really boosted the team in terms of production when she began getting those goals.”Her success can also be contributed to her work ethic, as Ferron has put in a lot of time developing her game in terms of frustrating the opposing defense and finding her teammates on the field. “She’ll work hard and pressure the defense with the other forwards,” Kabellis said. “She sees the game really well, and she knows running off the ball where everyone is. She’s learning how to play with everyone and is adjusting really well.”Although she has only been playing with her new team for three months, Ferron looks like she’s been playing with the Badgers for years, developing that connection with the senior forwards that have led to a solid season thus far. For someone who thought she didn’t want to be a Badger, things have certainly turned out well for the Wisconsin native.”I like being close to home and it’s nice to have my family come to games,” Ferron said. “It’s obviously very different than where I was last year. They were only able to come to one or two games. When we play in Milwaukee and around the Midwest, they can come and watch me play.”Wisconsin was [always] a better fit for me,” Ferron added. “I really never pictured myself here but then I started learning about it, it seemed like a good fit for me.”last_img read more

Blatter offers condolences on Trautmann passing

first_imgFIFA President Joseph S. Blatter has sent a letter of condolence to England’s Football Association Chairman Greg Dyke and the German Football Association President Wolfgang Niersbach upon learning of the death of Bert Trautmann at the age of 89.“I would like to express my deepest sympathy on learning of the death of legendary former Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann earlier today,” wrote the FIFA President.“There are few better illustrations of the power of football to build bridges than Bert, who arrived in England as a prisoner of war and went on to become one of the English game’s best and most famous goalkeepers, as well as being the author of one of the bravest and most famous acts in FA Cup history when he played out the last 17 minutes of the 1956 final with a broken neck,” Blatter continued.Trautmann rose to footballing fame with Manchester City following the Second World War, where the goalkeeper made more than 500 appearances for the club between 1949 and 1964.“In his contribution to Anglo-German relations following the Second World War, Bert Trautmann was a prime example of how football can be used to bring people together and forget their differences, one that FIFA is proud to follow in its social development work across the globe,” Blatter wrote.Following his playing days, Trautmann moved into the coaching ranks where he managed Stockport and German club Preussen Munster. He passed away at his home in Spain Friday morning. “On behalf of the members of the international football family, I should be grateful if you could extend our deepest condolences to Bert’s family, friends and loved ones,” concluded the FIFA President’s letter to Dyke and Niersbach.last_img read more