Report: Te'o Had Promised To Go Public With Hoax

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 17 2013 1:42 PM

Manti Te'o Reportedly Promised Notre Dame That He'd Be the One To Go Public With Hoax Story

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Manti Te'o #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish speaks to the media during Media Day ahead of the Discover BCS National Championship at Sun Life Stadium on January 5, 2013

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images.

The latest twist in the Manti Te'o fake-girlfriend story comes from Yahoo! Sports, which reports that the Notre Dame star had promised school officials that he was going to go public with the entire story on Monday:

Some administrators were pressing for a unilateral public disclosure by the school, while others wanted to let Te'o himself make the stunning news public, the source said. Notre Dame officials were in contact with Te'o's agent, Tom Condon of Creative Artists Agency, and were told the Heisman Trophy runner-up planned to release his version of events Monday. The decision was made to wait and let Te'o and CAA control the message.
"Their plan was Monday," the source said. "In hindsight, we shouldn't have given them that time."
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That announcement, obviously, didn't happen, clearing the way for Deadspin to drop its bombshell yesterday evening. Te'o released a statement through his agent last night claiming that he was the victim of s Catfish-llke hoax (a version of events that Notre Dame officials have publicly backed), but he's still yet to publicly address questions about the whole thing, particularly the accusations in the original report that he may have helped stage the hoax as a PR move.

Notre Dame officials say that Te'o first told them of the the fictional nature of his dead girlfriend back in December. Assuming that's true, clearly both the school and Te'o had plenty of chances to be the ones who went public with the story. The fact neither did only raises even more questions—something that we though wouldn't be possible given how mind-boggling the original story of the dead girlfriend that wasn't dead nor even real was in the first place.

The original Deadspin story is here for those of you who are just joining us.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.