Sports Illustrated's Controversial Manti Te'o Story Can No Longer Be Found In Its Online Archives

Manti Te'o Sports Illustrated Cover


One of the most detailed accounts in the national media regarding Manti Te’o’s “girlfriend” was a story written by Pete Thamel in the October 1, 2012 issue of Sports Illustrated. It was that story, “The Full Manti,” that was cited heavily in’s story on the Te’o hoax.But as of this morning, if you go to the “SI Vault” website, you will not be able to read that article, or any other article in that particular issue.

Search for “The Full Manti”? Nothing from October 1, 2012.

Search for “Manti Te’o”? Nothing from October 1, 2012.

Search for “Pete Thamel”? The oldest result is from October 22, 2012.

And it is not just that story. It appears as though the entire issue has been scrubbed from the archives.

L. John Wertheim wrote an article about the NFL’s replacement officials for that issue titled “They’re really that bad.” Both the author and the title come up blank for October 1, 2012.

We also searched for regular features, such as “Faces in the Crowd.” There is a result for October 8, 2012 and for September 24, 2012, but nothing for October 1, 2012. Also, there is no problem locating feature articles in issues both before and after October 1, 2012.

So why would Sports Illustrated scrub an article that millions of people still have easy access to through their mailbox and online (you can see the article here, for instance [.pdf])? The answer might be that they just don’t want websites linking to something that looks so bad. But by removing the issue, it looks more like Sports Illustrated is trying to pretend the Te’o article never happened.

Multiple attempts to contact both Sports Illustrated and Pete Thamel have gone unanswered.

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