Although Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick told reporters during a press conference on Wednesday that the university was informed about a potential hoax regarding the death of "Lennay Kekua" in late December, a video was posted on the Notre Dame athletics YouTube channel on Jan. 9 promoting a fundraiser for leukemia in the name of Kekua, according to Charles Wilson the Associated Press.
The fundraiser was started by Dan Tudesco, a graduate of Notre Dame, who told his story to SB Nation last week after he was caught in GIF form holding his head in disappointment during the Irish's loss to Alabama in the BCS Championship:
"We're trying to make a positive out of it though. My friends and I had a cool idea to set up a donation page through IndieGoGo and raise money for Leukemia research. girlfriend passed away this season from the disease and our modest goal is to raise $5,000 in his and her honor. We'll donate the entire amount to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on behalf of the entire Irish family."
The campaign picked up more steam when a video was released on the Notre Dame athletics YouTube channel; however, it's unclear whether the videographer was officially sent by the university to speak with Tudesco. The video has since been deleted from the page.
On Friday, Tudesco released a statement regarding the news, saying that he was "shell-shocked" by the news of the hoax, but that his goals have not changed:
We are, in no way, affiliated with the University of Notre Dame or Manti Te'o. This campaign was started and is maintained by a group of four people passionate about fighting cancer and helping people who may need it.
During his press conference Wednesday, Swarbrick said that he and Notre Dame coaches were informed by Te'o of a potential hoax on Dec. 26, 2012, nearly two weeks before the National Championship Game against Alabama. The Fighting Irish lost the game to the Crimson Tide, 42-14.