College Football Insider

Manti Te'o tells Notre Dame he tried to Skype with fake girlfriend

Manti Te'o told Notre Dame during its investigation into his fake girlfriend that he repeatedly tried to Skype with Lennay Kekua but she refused, CBSSports.com has learned.

Notre Dame broached the subject with Te'o because of what it believed to be an exclusively online relationship.

Notre Dame hired a private investigator to examine what it calls a “cruel hoax” after Deadspin uncovered this week that Kekua never existed.

The school also identified Ronaiah Tuiasosopo and the role he played as the alleged mastermind but did not speak with him during the investigation, CBSSports.com learned.

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The school shared its findings with the Te'o family to act upon as it saw fit.

Investigators found that Tuiasosopo attended the USC-Notre Dame game on Nov. 24.

Deadspin reported that, according to friends and family, Tuiasosopo orchestrated the Kekua scam.

Te'o has issued a statement but has yet to publicly take questions to address several issues that remain unclear.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday that Kekua, whom Te'o said had died in September, called Te'o on Dec. 6 to say she faked her death to evade drug dealers. Kekua, or whoever posed as Kekua, tried to revive the relationship, according to the report.

Te'o first notified Notre Dame of the hoax on Dec. 26, said Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick, who publicly supported Te'o in a press conference Wednesday night.

The school believes it found no evidence that Te'o or another player lied, that a potential NCAA violation could surface or that any potential criminal conduct would impact the school.

Notre Dame did not contact the NCAA during the process.


Jeremy Fowler is a national college football insider with CBSSports.com. Fowler joined CBS in 2012 after covering the Minnesota Vikings for the St. Paul Pioneer Press for two seasons and covering the Florida Gators for the Orlando Sentinel for two years. Fowler is also a contributor to the CBS Sports Network.
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