By David McCoy (email@example.com)
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12:08 AM EST, January 17, 2013
Notre Dame and Manti Te'o both issued statements Wednesday night stating that Te'o was the victim of an elaborate hoax in regards to the death of his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who we now know never existed.
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick later added detail to that in a lengthy news conference. He told reporters that Te'o was contacted by an alleged perpetrator of the hoax on Dec. 6, while in Florida for the ESPN College Football Awards show, and that a female caller whom Te'o recognized as that of the person he believed to be Kekua told him that she was "still alive."
However, in a Dec. 8 interview with a group of reporters (including WSBT's David McCoy) before the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York City -- two days, Swarbrick said, after Te'o received that phone call -- Te'o was asked a question about his community service work. He responded, in part, with the following quote:
"I don't like cancer at all. I lost both my grandparents and my girlfriend to cancer."
Is this a grieving Te'o struggling with how to process the brand-new revelation that his feelings for his girlfriend were very real, but she was not?
Or perhaps perpetuating the hoax, as Deadspin's article suggests?
Te'o's comment does not prove complicity in the hoax, but it does raise more questions, yet to be answered.
WSBT was the only South Bend television station with Te'o in New York City. You can watch the video of Te'o's quote by clicking on it within this article.
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