Skip to content

Notre Dame A.D. says Te’o will tell his story as soon as Thursday

Swarbrick AP

The claim from former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o that he was the victim of a hoax involving a fake girlfriend will be scrutinized aggressively by the media and, presumably, his prospective NFL employers.  Based on comments from Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick on Wednesday evening, it appears that Notre Dame already has done so.

Swarbrick explained that Te’o first realized that the existence and death of Lennay Kekua was a hoax when he received a call while attending a postseason awards show in Orlando from the woman who claimed to be Kekua, from the phone number that was supposedly hers.  On December 26, Te’o shared the information with Notre Dame, and Swarbrick had multiple meetings with Te’o to review the details of the relationship.

Notre Dame engaged a private company to investigate the situation, with a report provided to the school on January 4.  The investigation found, among other things, “online chatter among the perpetrators.”

Swarbrick said Te’o had planned to disclose the situation next week, and that Te’o is expected to address the situation with the media on Thursday.  For now, Swarbrick declined to delve into many of the details.  “At the end of the day this is Manti’s story to tell, and we believe he has the right to tell it, which we believe he is going to do,” Swarbrick said.

Swarbrick explained that it appeared to be a classic example of the phenomenon known as catfishing.  “An initial casual engagement,” Swarbrick said.  “A developing relationship online.  A subsequent trauma — traffic accident, illness.  And then a death.”

The biggest question remains the multiple accounts that Te’o and the fictitious girlfriend had met in person and spent time together.  “They started out as just friends,” Brian Te’o, Manti’s father, told the South Bend Tribune in 2012. “Every once in a while, she would travel to Hawaii, and that happened to be the time Manti was home, so he would meet with her there. But within the last year, they became a couple.

Swarbrick explained twice that Manti Te’o used the term “met” to refer to when they first met online, but Swarbrick did not provide a detailed explanation regarding the seemingly critical question of whether Te’o ever said or claimed that they actually physically spent time together, at their first “meeting” or at any time after that.

Regardless, Swarbrick says he firmly believes that Te’o was the victim.

“I want to stress . . . that nothing about what i have learned has shaken my faith in Manti Te’o one iota,” Swarbrick said.

Swarbrick candidly admitted that he doesn’t know whether the situation affected the Heisman runner-up’s performance in the BCS title game loss to the Alabama.

“It’s impacted Manti as a person, significantly,” Swarbick said, before pausing to compose himself.  “The single most trusting human being I’ve ever met will never be able to trust in the same way for the rest of his life.”

Permalink 57 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill
57 Responses to “Notre Dame A.D. says Te’o will tell his story as soon as Thursday”
  1. jh500 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:48 PM

    This whole thing is insane.

  2. vmkstar99 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:50 PM

    Good. That’ll give him time to write a story.

  3. flyeredup says: Jan 16, 2013 8:54 PM

    Oprah, your next guest is waiting.

  4. joerevs300 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:55 PM

    Q: What’s the best way to escape from a lie?
    A: Just keep on telling bigger and bigger ones. Blame the other person. Claim you’re the victim.

    Hmm…how’s that working out for Lance Armstrong right about now?

  5. ar1888 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:57 PM

    Im sure it will be as truthful as the first story.

  6. greyhawk9 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:58 PM

    He’d better come up with a good one

  7. tannethrill says: Jan 16, 2013 8:58 PM

    This will get uglier

  8. rdr4lif says: Jan 16, 2013 8:59 PM

    Someone like Deadspin is gonna pay Mr. Tuiasosopo for his story and this thing is going to come completely into the light.

    Welcome to the second round Manti….

  9. Stiller43 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:01 PM

    He’s either an idiot or a liar. My bet? He’s both.

  10. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 16, 2013 9:01 PM

    No comment at this time from the other members of the Kekua family. Parents Mwaha, Bwahaha, and sister Lolol.

  11. spedman24 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:03 PM

    Wow what an absolute joke this kid Teo is…I mean this is your classic: “let me make some hype for the Heisman by creating some totally ridiculous story”. Lol hahahaha.

  12. bills4 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:04 PM

    I guess he’s not going to be getting much sleep tonight!

  13. hifive123 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:05 PM

    “I did not have textual relations with that woman…”

  14. charliework says: Jan 16, 2013 9:06 PM

    We’re all gonna feel silly when we find out his grandmother was his girlfriend, and he had to come up with this facade to protect the relationship. Our society was too cruel to tolerate their love.

  15. raiderssf says: Jan 16, 2013 9:07 PM

    We need to get Nnamdi Asomugha Internet Cop on this.

  16. kate773 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:10 PM

    This whole “he met with her there” issue makes no sense. Why mention they were both in Hawaii if he meant they met up online?

    There’s more coming on this.

  17. charger383 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:11 PM

    NFL fans would never taunt or mock him for this

  18. adambballn says: Jan 16, 2013 9:11 PM

    This definitely explains why he looked so awful against Alabama. He was on National tv playing, knowing good and well that at any moment he was going to be exposed as a fraud… An interview with Manti about this fake girl even appeared on the pregame show! I imagine there was more on his mind during that game than just football.

  19. 3fingerlenny says: Jan 16, 2013 9:16 PM

    Te’o is ND’s Sandusky

  20. chicagoirish23 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:16 PM

    Anyone that thinks Notre Dame would put there full weight behind Manti Te’o if there was slight suspicion he is behind this is crazy. Jack Swarbrick isn’t just an AD. He is a lawyer that knows when to cut losses.

    Although when the story first broke I thought Te’o was behind it. As usual though, there are two sides to every story and deadspin isn’t the New York Times.

    I have to believe for ND to stand up for Te’o like this has to mean that they have solid evidence from the outside investigator to clear Manti. The only thing remaining is I still believe that authorities should have been involved, even if no extortion was present at the time.

    Now my only problem is that if Te’o is proved to be a victim, if is family releases the findings and police are involved and prosecution happens, nobody in the media will report it because its not as good as people saying he did it.

    Still faithful, still strong…
    Go Irish!

  21. nygdriveforfive says: Jan 16, 2013 9:16 PM

    Winning the heisman would not improve his draft stock that much imo. He would move up 5 spots maybe. Definitely not worth doing what he did (allegedly).

  22. thesportsguy52 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:17 PM

    Just enough time to make up some BS.

  23. j0esixpack says: Jan 16, 2013 9:17 PM

    “With their first round pick of the 2013 NFL Draft the New York Jets select… Manti Te’o.”

  24. irisheyez35 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:19 PM

    Dang…I can’t believe how so many freaking perfect people are on here judging people who may or may not have made a mistake. some people need to shut their mouths unless they know all the facts

  25. steviemo says: Jan 16, 2013 9:20 PM

    Lance Armstrong: “Oh my God, thank you Manti! Thank you!”

  26. pinion8ted says: Jan 16, 2013 9:21 PM

    What, he couldn’t just tel the truth today?

    Always makes me skeptical, like they’re trying to find a way to spin the truth

  27. damnsureis says: Jan 16, 2013 9:25 PM

    He should just come up to the podium and say “Bitches be crazy” and then walk away. That is the only way he is getting out of this.

  28. cometkazie says: Jan 16, 2013 9:27 PM

    Red flags are just a waving . . .

  29. craiginkc says: Jan 16, 2013 9:30 PM

    Didn’t all the Lance Armstrong supporters assure us that we just didn’t understand what incredibly high character Lance had?

  30. socalraider909 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:31 PM

    Its sad that a college star entering the NFL Draft is making up a story about having a girlfriend even if he was the ugliest guy alive he would still have one (seeing that he’s entering the draft) he’ll be a 2nd round pick I just hope he doesn’t end up with the Raiders and we pick up Damontre Moore

  31. kate773 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:41 PM

    This was a false flag operation carried out by Obama to force Catfish legislation reform.

    OPEN YOUR EYES, SHEEPLE!!!

  32. blacknole08 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:44 PM

    My thing is this — if Te’o is lying, why would he go to the school about it? Why would he ask for the situation to be investigated?

    Online dating is happening more nowadays… and this situation happens ALOT. People fall in love with people they have never met before ALOT over the internet. Yes, there are things like skype/web cams. Doesn’t mean he/she HAD to use it. Maybe the phone was a better way. That happens in ALOT of relationships anyways.

    The whole story just seems strange and it just seems unfair that this man’s character is being questioned. Maybe he is stupid. Gullible. But a fraud… I will have to wait for him to address the situation before I feel differently.

    But to me it sounds like Deadspin is again spinning a story.

  33. mazblast says: Jan 16, 2013 9:45 PM

    Give Te’o and Notre Dame credit. They realize that inconsistent stories and additional lies are often the downfall of people high on the food chain (see Nixon, Richard), and they’re taking the time to create the One Big Lie that everyone–family, Swarbrick, Kelly (himself a serial liar), teammates, friends, Te’o himself–will stick to. I’m sure the word has already spread on campus to stick with The Story–or else. Fortunately for Te’o’s handlers, deference and obedience to those in authority is almost automatic when the Catholic Church is involved.

    Te’o a victim. Right. Sure. Uh huh. Yeah.

  34. 49erstim says: Jan 16, 2013 9:52 PM

    I can’t wait to hear this! Lol

  35. burgandy2260 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:54 PM

    I can’t help but agree. We won’t hear the full story for a few more months. After that then every newspaper clip and press conference that we’ve seen will become a lasting slide show. One can only hope and pray that the outcome has lessons and doesn’t turn into a tragedy of some sort!

  36. simon94022 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:58 PM

    This is nuts, and it sure looks like Manti had to be a perpetrator of this hoax.

    But why concoct a story as dramatic and likely to be exposed as the “girlfriend” dying? If you wanted to end this, wouldn’t you just say you broke up?

  37. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 16, 2013 10:04 PM

    Everything will be O.K. It was just a misunderstanding, and Manti has a permission note from his enablers.

  38. burgandy2260 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:10 PM

    And as I watch ESPN interview between Te’o & Gene Wojciechowski I can’t help but think there’s more fish than CATFISH here.

  39. squashyjoshy says: Jan 16, 2013 10:11 PM

    If you go back and read the Deadspin article under the assumption that Te’o is gay, the story starts to make more sense… Just sayin’.

  40. Stiller43 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:12 PM

    Surprise! The only people who think he’s innocent are irish fans!

  41. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 16, 2013 10:12 PM

    That’s pretty bold to assume that Te’o will never trust anybody the same way again because of ONE bad experience with a girl? Gee whiz, I’ve only been let down by 100 girls, Te’o is one weak ass man if he can’t come back from this one.

    Sounds like Swarbrick has a very rattled faith in this guy who is clearly gullible, and apparently a candidate to be broken by one bad encounter. How’s he going to handle all of the scam artists he faces in the future, the high intensity personalities of the NFL, and all future women that make contact with him? Swarbrick sounds very shaken.

    I had no reason to question my faith in Te’o until I just read these awfully unflattering and confusing comments from Swarbrick. Swarbrick should keep his mouth shut from here and never talk about Te’o again, he’s not helping this kid in any way and he’s only adding to the embarrassment and the question marks at this point. Or better yet, take a page from your own book and hire a PR firm to talk about this matter for you since you obviously don’t have a clue. What a horrible compounding of the problem and from his own team that should be supporting him and helping him.

    Swarbrick should be fired. He’s not fit to serve as Athletic Director for a prestigious university.

  42. burgandy2260 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:12 PM

    Kind of makes yah wonder why Kelly stayed? Maybe because he didn’t want to be the next Pete Carroll? This is going to get bigger every day and his draft stock is going to plummet! Sad to say that the public and the media sometimes don’t care about facts until a later chapter in the books. Te’o PC better be a good one!

  43. northerndomer20 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:16 PM

    @hifive….well played

  44. kev86 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:23 PM

    We talking third round now? Maybe if you have two seconds you roll the dice on one with him?

  45. ayoungandres says: Jan 16, 2013 10:36 PM

    I’m pretty skeptical but what I got from the press conference was that Theresa’s emails/texts between the “couple.” The investigators would be se to tell if they’re legit with ND resources. If that’s true, Te’o likely being honest. He’s dumb as a bag of stones, but he’s being honest.

  46. jr507 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:39 PM

    whatever the truth may be, let’s make sure we all jump to conclusions since deadspin is a reputable publication that is not frequently accused of libelous stories.

  47. greyhawk9 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:39 PM

    Im sure the mighty powers that be at the illustrious Notre dame will promptly cover up this PR mess.

  48. Deb says: Jan 16, 2013 10:43 PM

    It depends on what the definition of “met” is.

    Gee … haven’t I heard something like that from some other guy on the hot seat?

  49. Deb says: Jan 16, 2013 11:36 PM

    Doesn’t pay to be me with the last comment on the board, does it? :roll:

  50. shzastl says: Jan 16, 2013 11:37 PM

    If Teo were in on it and creative enough to come up with this elaborate hoax, why would he leave a paper trail–the fake twitter account–that a shrewd media outlet could investigate and determine to be fake? He could just as easily have told the media he had a girlfriend who died named Jennifer Smith who’s not on Twitter, which could never be proven to be phony. Doesn’t add up…

  51. paredskinwarrior1985 says: Jan 16, 2013 11:38 PM

    I hope he drops to the 2nd or 3rd round now and the redskins draft him to replace London fletcher when he retires! No better teacher to learn from than the iron man London for the Samoa machine manti!!!! HTTR

    I met my wife on Facebook and brought her here from Chile! One look at her and you will see why I went thru the trouble to marry her to keep her here!! if manti did get played the fool like that that sucks and has to be heart breaking thinking someone you loved died and then finding out it was all a prank!!!!

    one question tho didn’t he go to her funeral or talk with her family when she “died”????? seems kind of weird he just takes it as she is dead and doesn’t reach out to his gf family and attend a funeral!!!!

    I wonder if he is letting this come out now bc he wants to drop to a playoff team!!!! I hope the redskins can land him and te Tyler efiert and trade away that joke Fred Davis!!! HTTR

  52. paredskinwarrior1985 says: Jan 16, 2013 11:47 PM

    I hope he drops to the 2nd or 3rd round now and the redskins draft him to replace London fletcher when he retires! No better teacher to learn from than the iron man London for the Samoa machine manti!!!! HTTR

    I met my wife on Facebook and brought her here from Chile! One look at her and you will see why I went thru the trouble to marry her to keep her here!! if manti did get played the fool like that that sucks and has to be heart breaking thinking someone you loved died and then finding out it was all a prank!!!!

    one question tho didn’t he go to her funeral or talk with her family when she “died”????? seems kind of weird he just takes it as she is dead and doesn’t reach out to his gf family and attend a funeral!!!!

    I wonder if he is letting this come out now bc he wants to drop to a playoff team!!!! I hope the redskins can land him and te Tyler efiert and trade away that joke Fred Davis!!! HTTR

    this has to be hands down the most insane sports story of the 2000’s

  53. Canyonero says: Jan 17, 2013 12:00 AM

    The intersection of “marketing your brand” and “what actually happened” is often a train wreck

  54. Spencer says: Jan 17, 2013 12:23 AM

    I wonder how Notre Dame will handle this. Obviously, Catholic institutions have little to no experience in desperate, implausible coverups.

  55. iminyrhead says: Jan 17, 2013 12:32 AM

    Shades of the Penn St. scandal beginning … Sit back and wait for the nuke to go off ….. This story WILL get bigger

  56. bengalsstillsuck says: Jan 17, 2013 1:05 AM

    Well u better say something cause the world wants to know what the hell is going on.

  57. realfootballfan says: Jan 17, 2013 1:55 AM

    Why the whole “he did it for publicity” thing doesn’t fly is simple. Before this year, no one would have him on any Heisman radar or taken Notre Dame seriously as a national championship contender. If it was a publicity thing, it would have started this year, but from what I gather, this story was introduced a while back within the Notre Dame community and just grew legs from there.

    All Jokes to the side, it points to something my wife has seen in one of her co-workers who’s so in denial of his sexuality that creating such far fetched tales is more acceptable to them than being who they are for fear of the ramifications. This guy gets into a car wreck, it is incorporated into this fake female’s story. Everywhere Teo is supposed to be with this woman, he’s with this guy.

    The problem is that the whole thing blew way out of proportion when Teo became a national story at the most storied college football program simply by chance because they’ve been mediocre for so long.

    Therefore, they had to kill the story before people went snooping around to figure out who this mystery woman was and being a young person in the world, he and his friend who helped him concot this thing in my opinion to cover up what’s really going on with them are too naive to grasp that such couldn’t be covered up in this day and age.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!