Manti Te’o has not spoken about the alleged hoax in which the linebacker was said to have been duped into believing he had a girlfriend named Lennay Kekua. Kekua and Te’o are said to have shared a relationship online, however it has been revealed that she never existed.
Notre Dame held a press conference on Wednesday night in which athletic director Jack Swarbrick said that the school was aware of the story and later depicted the school’s version of events.
On Friday morning, Swarbirck said that the school is trying to get Te’o to talk publicly.
“I don’t have any specific knowledge as to how and when,” Swarbrick said. “But I can’t fathom a circumstance where it doesn’t. I sort of share everybody’s view that it has to happen. And we are certainly encouraging it to happen. We think it’s important and we’d like to see it happen sooner rather than later.”
“And so I do think the ball’s in their court. Again, we are very much encouraging them to … (make) themselves available to explain and take questions. We think that’s in everybody’s interests. It’s our expectation at Notre Dame that they will do that. We were willing to go forward and do that and answer questions from our end and offer our support. We have every expectation he’ll do the same.”
Swarbrick believes that Te’o and his family was preparing to go public with the story this coming Monday. He also stressed that he understood how there could be skepticism by those who believe Te’o was in on the hoax. The woman whose photos were used in the hoax has been identified as 23-year-old Diane O’Meara.
“If I were on the outside of this, presented with the only facts I have at this point – and importantly, as of the time we’re recording this, Manti as 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 everything that went on here.”