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The world waits for Manti Te'o to speak about girlfriend hoax

January 18, 2013|By Dan Loumena
  • Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o celebrates a 41-3 victory over Miami with teammates and fans in October.
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o celebrates a 41-3 victory over Miami… (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press )

Manti Te'o, the All-American linebacker who wants you to believe he was duped by an online girlfriend hoax, remains hunkered down as Notre Dame officials stand behind his story.

The world now awaits his on-camera explanation as to how he went on camera so many times this fall to say how much he loved someone he evidently never met.

Maybe Te'o can join Lance Armstrong and Oprah Winfrey on Friday night?

Te'o claims to be a victim of an online hoax in which he became involved with a woman who didn't exist. A nonexistent woman who Te'o said on national television was his girlfriend, who had died of leukemia the same week as his grandmother, right before he became a national sensation with a stellar game against Michigan State.

Notre Dame, like the rest of us, awaits Te'o and his family's explanation of some events that don't seem to make sense.

"It is in the Te'o family's court,” Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said in his weekly radio show, which was posted online Friday. “We are very much encouraging them. I hope by the time people are listening to this they have made themselves available to explain and to take questions, because we think that's in everybody's interest. It's certainly our expectation at Notre Dame that they would do that.”

Swarbrick still believes Te'o is the victim of a hoax but said he understands why people are skeptical.

"If I was on the outside of this presented with the only facts I have at this point — and importantly at the time we're recording this Manti has yet to speak publicly — I think that skepticism is easy to understand. I just ask those people to apply the same skepticism to everything about this.

“I have no doubt the perpetrators have a story they will yet spin about what went on here. I hope skepticism also greets that when they're articulating what that is.”

Swarbrick prefers that Te'o and his family address the issue sooner rather than later.

"I don't have any specific knowledge as to how and when, but I can't fathom a circumstance where it doesn't [happen]," Swarbrick said of a news conference. "I sort of share everybody's view that it has to happen. We are certainly encouraging it to happen. We think it's important and we'd like to see it happen sooner rather than later."

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