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Chargers keeping Te’o away from media

By Bernie Wilson

Associated Press


SAN DIEGO >> Manti Te’o isn’t hiding out. He’s just not talking to the media.

After being spotted attending a party thrown by the magazine Maxim last week in Hollywood, Te’o was back in San Diego at the Chargers’ second open session of organized team activities on Monday.

For the second straight week, the former Notre Dame linebacker was barred from speaking with reporters.

Maxim confirmed that Te’o attended a party after the magazine included his fake girlfriend on its list of the world’s 100 hottest women.

The Chargers apparently are trying to put the fake girlfriend episode behind by keeping Te’o off-limits to the media until minicamp in mid-June. Te’o’s attending the party seemed to refresh in people’s minds how the Heisman Trophy runner-up was caught in an elaborate hoax. The magazine put Te’o’s fake girlfriend at No. 69 on its list, running a picture of an “invisible” girl in a bikini superimposed over an ocean scene.

Rookie head coach Mike McCoy said he didn’t know the second-round draft pick went to the Maxim bash.

“He’s going to make certain decisions. We’ll keep that in-house with what we think and what we’re doing with that,” the coach said.

He dropped out of the first round in part because of his poor performance in Notre Dame’s blowout loss to Alabama in the national championship game. The fake girlfriend hoax that was revealed in January and became a national sensation didn’t help, either.

The Chargers, who are trying to rebuild under a new regime after missing the playoffs three straight seasons, have taken unprecedented steps to limit Te’o’s time in front of the microphones. The team refused to let reporters do customary one-on-ones with him after his introductory news conference during the draft, and has continued to refuse to set up one-on-one interviews with the linebacker.

Te’o did speak after the first practice of rookie minicamp on May 10 but has been the only player off-limits during OTAs, which are practices in helmets, jerseys and shorts.

Some reporters do have football-related questions for Te’o.

“We have a plan like we have for everything else,” McCoy said. “He’s here. He’s a young player. The organization has a schedule for him like we do every other player of putting him in front of the media. We’ll do it accordingly.

“He’s doing a nice job and he’ll be in front of you when we put him out here.”

McCoy was Denver’s offensive coordinator when Tim Tebow was with the Broncos.

The Broncos never kept Tebow off-limits to the media.

One Chargers rookie who did talk was former California wide receiver Keenan Allen, who said he didn’t think posting a photo of himself online wearing an Oakland Raiders cap would cause the stir it did.

“Obviously I had a Raiders hat on. I didn’t think it would have the effect that it did have but obviously it did and I didn’t mean for it to happen,” Allen said sheepishly about getting caught wearing gear from the Chargers’ most-hated rival. “I wasn’t thinking about it at the time. I wasn’t actually thinking about football at all. I was just going to grab a bite to eat. I posted something on Vine.

“I’m sorry about it and it won’t happen again.” Allen said he bought the hat while in college.

He posted the picture sometime after being drafted by the Chargers.

He also said veteran safety Eric Weddle “came up to me today and gave me the rundown — don’t do it again.”

Outside linebacker Dwight Freeney, who agreed to a two-year deal with the Chargers on Saturday, wasn’t at Monday’s workout. McCoy said Freeney had a prior commitment.

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joewilly wrote:
Good move by Coach McCoy. The reporters will probably ask him questions that have nothing to do about football, causing a distraction. Let the girlfriend thing go already, give Manti a chance to prove himself on the field.
on May 21,2013 | 05:59AM
toad103410 wrote:
Don't think "the girlfriend thing" is going away anytime soon. It's going to hang around his neck for a very long time. Hope he does live up to his hype on the field so he can shut up the critical remarks you know he's going get from fans in Philly and Oakland.
on May 21,2013 | 08:18AM
ezridah wrote:
I don't blame them...he hasn't had any good experiences with them..time to put up
on May 21,2013 | 06:10AM
allie wrote:
Understandable as he is an embarrassment when he opens his mouth
on May 21,2013 | 06:24AM
kahuku01 wrote:
Understandable, the same for you when you open your mouth, an embarrassment.
on May 21,2013 | 09:28AM
TuTuUi wrote:
yeah yeah, tell the press to kiss manti teo's samoan muli...they are so fai ka ka la...dam niele press...be gone
on May 21,2013 | 09:13AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Manti handled the situation like a man with class. Nuff said about this nonsense already.
on May 21,2013 | 10:03AM
LadyNinja wrote:
Great move! Manti has been through enough and a lot of the media over played the issue with the so called girlfriend. A lot of people who don't understand the Mormon family life should really get educated. That's why Manti is strong and can deal with this issue, his parents gave him a great upbringing and he strived to do his best and excelled in life. If everyone keeps their nose out of his personal life, all will go away in due time. Media just enough already. Let him move forward and change direction to education and his passion, football.!!
on May 21,2013 | 10:17AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Not only the media but uninformed people from up North.
on May 21,2013 | 10:31AM
serious wrote:
Agreed, Lady, let his on field performance show his stuff. He's a young athlete not a team spokesman.
on May 21,2013 | 10:36AM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
Of course Manti Teo attended the Maxim party celebrating their 100 Hottest Women, with #69 (harhar) being Lennay Kekua. There were REAL GIRLS at the party...and per photos and articles available online, one of the women he spent time talking with was Kendra Wilkinson--former girlfriend of Hugh Hefner.
on May 21,2013 | 03:32PM
atilter wrote:
da press is da press...they'll write about things like this all the time if they think it will sell papers...plus why did he go to that particular function if he wanted to "put it all behind him"?
on May 21,2013 | 05:13PM
atilter wrote:
this is the same mag that is perpetuating the girlfriend myth??? go figure why ???
on May 21,2013 | 05:39PM
jussayin wrote:
Maybe Teo shouldn't have attended the party that was associated with the talk about his fake girlfriend. I thought he learned from his experience but it doesn't seem like it. The press will be the press. Teo needs to stay away from anything related to the incident.
on May 21,2013 | 09:24PM
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