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Thursday, January 17, 2013
Sad stories dominating sports

By Dick Vitale

I am a big sports fan. I have always loved the competition in athletics, but lately, the sports world has been plagued by some sad stories.

It is so sad to think about interviews and all the articles about these stories overshadowing so many positive things going on, like the NFL playoffs and some great action in college hoops. There is so much embarrassment and humiliation in the world of sports.

Let's start with the Lance Armstrong case. For years, he claimed innocence when accused of using performance-enhancing drugs. For years, he lived a lie. His actions affected the lives of so many, whether they were fans, teammates, sponsors.

I know the Armstrong interview with Oprah Winfrey begins tonight, and I don't need to watch it because I know what he will say. The bottom line is he lied and duped so many people. I will say that he did have an impact with his Livestrong Foundation and that was a positive in the community battling cancer. I will give him some credit for that.

But it blows my mind that he could live a lie for so long. I do not believe he has paid the price for all the harm he has done to so many. We will see how this all plays out. It is a shame.

As for the Manti Te'o situation, it breaks my heart. As many people know, I love Notre Dame and what it stands for. My two daughters attended the school. My sons-in-law were athletes there.

Te'o seemed so special and this season was so special. Athletes today are often about "me, me, me." He was not like that; he loved his Fighting Irish teammates and the school.

There is still a lot of information coming out about the girlfriend hoax. What the truth is about the situation, I just don't know. You can speculate all you want but who knows besides him. It has dominated the sports world over the last 24 hours and it is one of the strangest situations I can remember.

I do feel he should face the nation and tell the truth. Get out there and let people know what really happened.

I was there on stage before the Michigan game and I heard of his pain and suffering over his losses. It was an emotional situation. Now I want to know if in any way, shape or form, was he involved in this hoax? He owes his Notre Dame family and the fans some answers.

It is truly depressing when you love sports and love people to think about these stories.