Manti Te'o the 'victim of a hoax,' says Notre Dame on Deadspin story

Kevin C. Cox

Notre Dame has been investigating the case of Lennay Kekua since December 26, the university says.

Wednesday, Deadspin published an investigative piece alleging Lennay Kekua, the deceased girlfriend of Notre Dame Heisman finalist linebacker Manti Te'o, was a hoax. Kekua reportedly died near the same time as Te'o's grandmother, with Te'o's performance in the following Saturday's Michigan State game being widely heralded as overcoming adversity.

Notre Dame's response:

On Dec. 26, Notre Dame coaches were informed by Manti Te'o and his parents that Manti had been the victim of what appears to be a hoax in which someone using the fictitious name Lennay Kekua apparently ingratiated herself with Manti and then conspired with others to lead him to believe she had tragically died of leukemia. The University immediately initiated an investigation to assist Manti and his family in discovering the motive for and nature of this hoax. While the proper authorities will continue to investigate this troubling matter, this appears to be, at a minimum, a sad and very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators.

Dennis Brown
University Spokesman | Assistant Vice President

It might not be as farfetched as it sounds. Though Te'o is alleged to have met ... someone, there's no reason to dismiss the possibility that the person he met was in on a potential hoax. Let's not rush to any conclusions.

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