Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o admitted to Katie Couric he answered questions about his "dead" online girlfriend even after he received...

Share story

College football

‘What would you do?’ Te’o

tells Couric

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o admitted to Katie Couric he answered questions about his “dead” online girlfriend even after he received a call Dec. 6 from a woman posing as the fake person.

Most Read Stories

Cyber Sale! Save 90% on digital access.

Te’o also maintained he played no part in the hoax.

Pressed by Couric to admit he was in on the deception, the All-American said he was convinced the woman he knew as Lennay Kekua died in September. Te’o claims he never met Kekua in person but developed a serious relationship with her through phone calls and electronic messages.

“Katie, put yourself in my situation. I, my whole world told me that she died on Sept. 12. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12,” Te’o said in an interview to air Thursday on Couric’s syndicated talk show. A segment of the interview with Te’o and his parents was broadcast Wednesday on “Good Morning America.”

“Now I get a phone call on Dec. 6, saying that she’s alive and then I’m going be put on national TV two days later. And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?” Te’o said.

The Heisman Trophy finalist made at least three references to his girlfriend in media interviews after Dec. 6, including during ESPN’s Heisman presentation show Dec. 8.

Te’o’s father defended his son when Couric pointed out that many people don’t believe the Irish star, suspecting he used the situation for personal gain.

“People can speculate about what they think he is. I’ve known him 21 years of his life. And he’s not a liar. He’s a kid,” Brian Te’o said with tears in his eyes.

NCAA announces problems with Miami investigation

NCAA president Mark Emmert revealed the investigation of Miami is on hold after the governing body for college sports discovered “a very severe issue of improper conduct” — specifically the attorney for former booster and convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro was used “to improperly obtain information … through a bankruptcy proceeding that did not involve the NCAA.”

The NCAA does not have subpoena power. At least one of the people deposed by attorney Maria Elena Perez as part of Shapiro’s bankruptcy case appeared under subpoena, and his testimony would not have been otherwise available to NCAA investigators. The investigators who were involved are no longer with the NCAA, Emmert said.

“How in the world can you get this far without it being recognized that this was an inappropriate way to proceed?” Emmert asked.

Louisville extends contract

Charlie Strong got a long-term commitment from Louisville that makes him one of the highest-paid Division I football coaches.

The Cardinals coach and the university agreed on an eight-year contract extension that will pay Strong an annual base salary of $3.7 million, plus performance incentives worth $583,333 if Louisville wins the BCS championship game.


Sosa says he and McGwire belong in Hall of Fame

Sammy Sosa said he and fellow steroid-tainted star Mark McGwire belong in the Hall of Fame. He also said the Chicago Cubs should retire his number, and he left open the possibility of running for president of the Dominican Republic during an interview on the website

Upton may go to Atlanta

Outfielder B.J. Upton, who signed a five-year, $75.25 million contract with Atlanta in November, said he is excited about the possibility the Braves are pursuing a trade with Arizona for his younger brother, Justin Upton.

The Diamondbacks agreed to trade Justin Upton, also an outfielder, to the Mariners earlier this month but the player vetoed it. Seattle was among four teams in Upton’s contract that he could nix. Atlanta is not on that list.


Chelsea star ejected for kicking at ball boy

Chelsea star Eden Hazard was ejected from the English League Cup semifinal at Swansea for kicking a ball boy in the ribs while attempting to retrieve the ball after it rolled off the field.

Hazard and the ball boy apologized to each other after the game, Swansea said in a statement.

“South Wales Police interviewed the 17-year-old ball boy with his father after the game and neither wished to press any charges,” Swansea said. “It was an unfortunate incident which both parties regret being involved in.”


• Baseball commissioner Bud Selig awarded the All-Star Game in 2015 to Cincinnati.

Delmon Young’s $750,000, one-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies allows him to earn an additional $2.75 million in bonuses, including $600,000 for making weight six times during the season.

• The Arizona Diamondbacks and shortstop Chris Pennington avoided arbitration by reaching a two-year, $5 million contract agreement.

• Infielder Jonathan Herrera and the Colorado Rockies agreed to a one-year, $900,000 deal, avoiding arbitration.

Ricardo Santos of Portugal made five birdies on his back nine and had a 7-under-par 65 in the first round of the Qatar Masters in Doha, taking a one-shot lead over Anthony Wall of England and Peter Whiteford of Scotland.

• South Africa beat Angola 2-0 to take the Group A lead at the African Cup of Nations in Port Elizabeth, while Cape Verde held former champion Morocco to a 1-1 tie.

Seattle Times news services