A recap of what Jeremy Schapp reported about Manti Te'o

Below is a recap of what ESPN's Jeremy Schapp reported regarding the Manti Te'o interview from the 12am and 1am editions of SportsCenter.

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Jeremy Schapp: “Well Jay as you say, it was two and a half hours of discussion. Manti T’eo in that time answered every question that I posed. He was comprehensive. He went back to the beginning of the story. He explained himself, explained as fully as I think he could, what happened, what he says happened to him. As I said, every question was answered. He admitted to a couple of mistakes along the way, including lying to his father on one occasion that lead to inconsistencies that have been pointed out in the media over the last 48-hours.

But let me start with this…At several points he was asked directly whether he was in any way, any part of this, he said no, ‘There was one line in the Deadspin story… one of the sources said I am 80 percent certain Manti was in on this.’”

(Full Screen Graphic) Voiced by Jeremy:
Jeremy Schapp: “for the record once again were you in any way a part of this.”
Manti T’eo: “no, never.”
Jeremy Schapp: “Never?”
Manti T’eo: “Never. Not ever.”

“I then said to him, ‘you did a lot of interviews. It was a big story during the season. One of the stories of the college football season. You described your relationship in a way that suggested you had met her. Explain.”

And Manti T’eo said, “That goes back to what I did with my dad. I knew that--I even knew that it was crazy that I was with somebody I didn’t meet. And that alone people find out that this girl who died I was so invested in, and I didn’t meet her as well. So I kind of tailored by stories to have people think that, yeah, he met her before she passed away.”

What he’s saying there, what he is saying there, he suggested to people who were interviewing him that he did in fact meet Lennay Kekua because he thought that the story would sound too weird, it would be too embarrassing to him if he admitted he had never met her in person.”

Jay Harris: “How would you describe T’eo’s demeanor during you line of questioning?”

Jeremy Schaap: “I can say that in the entire two and a half hours that he spoke he was completely composed, self-assured, he betrayed no nervousness, he had maybe full command of the stories suggests that it was a story rather than the truth. But, he had a full command of everything I posed. I’d like to think the questioning was complete. And he seemed very comfortable in the chair.”

Jay Harris: “How did this alleged relationship get started Jeremy?”

Jeremy Schaap: “Well, he said it got started on Facebook when he was a sophomore at Notre Dame. He made some Facebook connection with someone purporting to be Lennay Kekua. And over the course of the next year there were occasional contacts, ‘how you doing?’ ‘What’s going on?,’ phone conversations.

Interestingly—and he showed me documentation to verify this in the form of Facebook messages from other people—he contacted people who she had said also knew her and they verified, ‘oh yeah, Lennay. I know about Lennay,’ and characterized her. These were apparently people who in some way or another ere also duped. So he meets her back in 2010 when he’s a sophomore, but he said the relationship didn’t really start to grow until the Purdue game in 2011. And then subsequently it became a much more intense relationship back in April—April 28th specifically—when he found out that she had supposedly been injured in this horrific truck crash in Los Angeles that put her into a coma.

Someone saying that they were a cousin of hers, and also a sibling of hers, informed him of the crash, and then really from April 28th right up until September 12th when he thought that she had died they were inseparable via phone.”

Jay Harris: “When did T’eo say he first realized the woman he considered to be his girlfriend never actually existed?”

Jeremy Schaap: “That’s really one of the most interesting things here Jay.

A lot has been made in the last couple of days about the fact that Jack Swarbrick in his press conference at Notre Dame two nights ago, the Notre Dame AD said that Manti T’eo found out about this as December 6th and people interpreted that to mean Swarbrick said that there was a hoax. If you actually pay attention to what he said, he said that’s when he actually got the phone call of somebody saying that Lennay wasn’t dead etc.

What Manti T’eo told me, is that after he gets this phone call on December 6th, and somebody says ‘I’m alive. I’m Lennay, I’m alive,’ he’s utterly confused. He doesn’t know whether to believe this person or not. He’s told some story of how she’s been in hiding from drug dealers. And I know it sounds fantastical, but you have to believe me he was very convincing in the way that he laid this out, that he was not fully convinced that Lennay Kekua did not exist until two days ago when he heard from Renaiah Tuiasosopo, who has been reportedly—who is reported to be the person behind this hoax, Manti T’eo told me that Tuiasosopo called him two days ago and told him that he was behind the hoax, he apologized, he showed me Twitter messages apparently from Tuiasosopo apologizing for perpetrating this hoax on him, embarrassing him etc.”


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