VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Boxing/MMA
Fantasy Sports
More
Betting Tools

 
ESPN interviewing Te'o about dead girlfriend hoax

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Manti Te'o gave an interview to ESPN in which the network says he answered questions about the dead girlfriend hoax that exposed the feel-good story of the college football season as a bizarre fabrication, and left many wondering if Notre Dame's Heisman Trophy runner-up participated in the scam.

Advertisement
ESPN announced Friday night it was interviewing the All-American linebacker off camera and that audio clips of the session would be available on the network later.

Earlier, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said during the taping of his weekly radio show that Te'o has to explain exactly how he was duped into an online relationship with a fictitious woman whose ``death'' was then faked by perpetrators of the scheme.

Skeptics have questioned the versions of events laid out by Te'o and Notre Dame, wondering why Te'o never said his relationship was with someone online and why he waited almost three weeks to tell the school about being duped.

According to Notre Dame, Te'o received a call on Dec. 6 from the girl he had only been in contact with by telephone and online, and who he thought had died in September. After telling his family what happened while he was home in Hawaii for Christmas, he informed Notre Dame coaches on Dec. 26.

Notre Dame said it hired investigators to look into Te'o's claims and their findings showed he was the victim of an elaborate hoax.

Te'o released a statement on Wednesday, soon after Deadspin.com broke news of the scam with a lengthy story, saying he had been humiliated and hurt by the ``sick joke.'' But he has laid low since.

ESPN officials posted a photo on Twitter late Friday night of reporter Jeremy Schapp with Te'o and his attorney. Te'o has been working out at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., as he prepares for the NFL combine and draft.

Swarbrick said earlier in the day that he believed Te'o would ultimately speak publicly.

``We are certainly encouraging it to happen,'' he said. ``We think it's important and we'd like to see it happen sooner rather than later.''

He said that before the Deadspin story, Te'o and his family had planned to go public with the story Monday.

``Sometimes the best laid plans don't quite work, and this was an example of that. Because the family lost the opportunity in some ways to control the story,'' he said. ``It is in the Te'o family's court. We are very much encouraging them.''

Former NFL coach Tony Dungy, who mentored Michael Vick when he returned to the NFL after doing prison time, had similar advice.

``I don't know the whole case but I always advise people to face up to it and just talk to people and say what happened,'' Dungy said while attending the NCAA convention in Dallas on Friday. ``The truth is the best liberator, so that's what I would do. And he's going to get questioned a lot about it.''

Te'o led a lightly regarded Fighting Irish team to a 12-0 regular season and the BCS title game, where they were routed 42-14 by Alabama and Te'o played poorly.

Dungy said Te'o could face the toughest questions from NFL teams.

``If I was still coaching and we're thinking about taking this guy in the first round, you want to know not exactly what happened but what is going on with this young man and is it going to be a deterrent to him surviving in the NFL and is it going to stop him from being a star,'' Dungy said. ``So just tell the truth about what happened and this is why, I think, that's the best thing.''

Deadspin reported that friends and relatives of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a 22-year-old who lives in California, believe he created Kekua. The website also reported Te'o and Tuiasosopo knew each other - which has led to questions about Te'o's involvement in the hoax.

Swarbrick understands why there are questions.

``They have every right to say that,'' Swarbrick said ``Now I have some more information than they have. But they have every right to say that. ... 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.''

----

AP sports writers Tim Reynolds, Stephen Hawkins and Ralph D. Russo contributed to this report.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
News: 2017 Golden Nugget GOY Odds
News: GOY - Conference Odds
Edwards: SEC Schedule Breakdown
Lawrence: 2017 Big Ten Preview
Edwards: Quarterback Rankings
Lawrence: 2017 ACC Preview
Edwards: Stoops Steps Down
Edwards: Hot Seat Coaches
Lawrence: 2017 AAC Preview
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2016 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Rickenbach + 2051
Joe Williams + 1909
Pat Hawkins + 1752
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Greg Smith + 400
Joe Nelson + 385
Scott Rickenbach + 380
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 60 %
Scott Rickenbach 59 %
Kyle Hunter 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 1239
Scott Rickenbach + 1082
Kyle Hunter + 1023
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 2485
Kyle Hunter + 2166
NeiltheGreek + 2076
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Vince Akins + 805
Scott Rickenbach + 657
Pat Hawkins + 595
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership