"We are all just shocked," said Shiloah's father David Te'o. "To be told that your son has been dismissed from BYU is probably the worst phone call a father can have. That feeling that I have would be like when you send your son out to serve a mission only to find out that he is being sent home for doing something wrong. That is how big this is to me and that's how I'm feeling right now."
Shiloah had been involved with an honor code violation in the past and Coach Mendenhall used the situation as a teaching and building opportunity. Unfortunately however, this latest incident warranted Shiloah's dismissal from the team.
"The feeling is, I'm done crying for my son," said a somber David. "I know Coach Mendenhall is angry with Shiloah because of how he handled things. I think he feels let down and that's why he's angry with him, but Coach Mendenhall handled this like a father. He gave Shiloah many chances to take ownership of this problem and he didn't. I think that is what disappointed him the most. I'm just so disappointed in Shiloah and right now I'm just kind of holding things in."
Despite Shiloah being dismissed from the team, Coach Mendenhall is making an effort to help him.
"Coach Mendenhall said he's going to try and see if he can help Shiloah stay in school to finish up this semester," said David. "He's going to try and do whatever he can to help Shiloah. We should know more tomorrow what is going to happen."
Facing such a situation would be difficult for any person, but potentially more so for a young man of Samoan heritage given the importance of a family's name in that culture.
"We're having a family meeting tonight and we're going to talk about this," said David. "We're going to let everybody know what's going on and this is a hard thing for us. We are going to fly out to Provo tomorrow morning. I'm going to have a long talk with my son about this and I know it's going to be hard for him. I'm just really disappointed and this is going to be a very hard thing for us all. Right now I'm just trying to do my best and keeping everything inside."
BYU's football program is one of the country's most unique in terms of standards and expectations. Excellence is expected of all athletes at BYU, whether that applies to conduct, morals, service, academics or other areas outside of athletics.
If anything, there is a lesson to be learned here and it's a lesson that David hopes all that choose to be a part of BYU's program fully understand.
"I hope this is a good lesson for any incoming freshmen," said a disheartened David. "If there is a lesson to be learned here, it's that you can't toe the line. You're either in or out with the expectations and standards. You cannot just walk a fine line with the things that matter most. If you do, you have a lot to lose. If anything, I hope this is a good lesson for our kids."
As Shiloah Te'o and his family deal with this family matter, we would ask all to show support and respect for the family.