That's what makes me uncomfortable. Sure Te'o has been spoiled. By the school. By fans. By the press.
Those who follow my column know I wasn't high on Te'o's play. He was not - and the national title game proved me correct - one of the nation's top few players. He was a fine linebacker on a very good team. But he entered the championship game as the nation's No. 59 tackler. He was not on my Heisman Trophy ballot. Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina was my pick and, after he made Vincent Smith look like a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em robot in the Outback Bowl, I feel at peace with that.
So Te'o might be spoiled. He might have been on a team for which I never cared. He certainly was overhyped.
No one, however, at age 21 is ready for the blowback of a story like this.
At that age, most of us were feeling our way, looking for a job, trying to find an apartment. We were like colts wobbling away.
If you're older, remember yourself back then. Then imagine yourself dealing with the entire nation's white hot stare, the Internet's evisceration.
Te'o is entangled in a public firestorm that no other 21-year-old has ever experienced.
Whether he brought it on himself or not, we'll see.
But it's tough to laugh when a kid's well being is on the line.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.