After Manti Te'o learned about the hoax, he kept talking about his 'girlfriend' (+video)
Manti Te'o gave two media interviews – two days and four days – after he learned that his 'girlfriend' was a hoax, and wasn't dead. Why did Manti Te'o keep talking about her as if she was real? Was Manti Te'o a victim or willing participant in the hoax?
(Page 2 of 2)
Sports Illustrated posted a previously unpublished transcript of a one-on-one interview with Te'o from Sept. 23. In it, he goes into great detail about his relationship with Kekua and her physical ailments. He also mentioned meeting her for the first time after a game in California.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
"We met just, ummmm, just she knew my cousin. And kind of saw me there so. Just kind of regular," he told SI.
Among the outstanding questions: Why didn't Te'o ever clarify the nature of his relationship as the story took on a life of its own?
Te'o's agent, Tom Condon, said the athlete had no plans to make any public statements in Bradenton, Fla., where he has been training with other NFL hopefuls at the IMG Academy.
Notre Dame said Te'o found out that Kekua was not a real person through a phone call he received at an awards ceremony in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 6. He told Notre Dame coaches about the situation on Dec. 26.
The AP's media review turned up two instances during that gap when the football star mentioned Kekua in public.
Te'o was in New York for the Heisman presentation on Dec. 8 and, during an interview before the ceremony that ran on the WSBT.com, the website for a South Bend TV station, Te'o said: "I mean, I don't like cancer at all. I lost both my grandparents and my girlfriend to cancer. So I've really tried to go to children's hospitals and see, you know, children."
In a column that first ran in The Los Angeles Times, on Dec. 10, Te'o recounted why he played a few days after he found out Kekua died in September, and the day she was supposedly buried.
"She made me promise, when it happened, that I would stay and play," he said on Dec. 9 while attending a ceremony in Newport Beach, Calif., for the Lott Impact Awards.
On Wednesday, when Deadspin.com broke the story, Swarbrick said Notre Dame did not go public with its findings sooner because it expected the Te'o family to come forward first.
Asked if the NCAA was monitoring the Te'o story for possible rules violations, NCAA President Mark Emmert said:
"We don't know anything more than you do," he told reporters at the organization's convention in Dallas. "We're learning about this through the stories just the same as you are. But we have to wait and see what really transpired there. It's obviously (a) very disturbing story and it's hard to tell where the facts lie at this point.
"But Notre Dame is obviously looking into it and there will be a lot more to come forward. Right now, it just looks ... well, we don't know what the facts are, so I shouldn't comment beyond that."
AP Sports Writers Ralph Russo and Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.