The cast of characters in the Manti Te'o saga

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The cast of characters in the Manti Te'o saga

As the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax story continues to evolve, here's what we know about the participating parties in the saga:
Manti Te'o: The star linebacker's girlfriend wasn't real. Te'o rose to national prominence in September not only for his on-field play, but for his off-the-field story, which detailed how his grandmother and girlfriend passed away within 24 hours. Te'o released a statement Wednesday saying he was the victim of the hoax. We know the latter part of that story is false, leaving this overarching question: Was Te'o in on the hoax, or was he duped?
Lennay Kekua: Purported to be Te'o's girlfriend, uncovered by Deadspin.com as not being real on Wednesday. According to Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick's timeline of events, Te'o and Kekua met online and had maintained a relationship via the internet and phone calls for an extended period of time.
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo: The person who created Lennay Kekua, according to Deadspin and a handful of twitter users joking about Kekua in December and during the BCS Championship. He appears to have a relationship with Te'o to some degree, as the pair did interact on Twitter in 2012. Tuiasosopo tweeted on Nov. 23 -- the day before Notre Dame played USC -- that he had a "great night with my bro @MTeo_5!" So far, he hasn't made a public comment about the situation, although he may be the one to provide clarity as to Te'o's involvement, or lack thereof, in the hoax.

Update: Radio interview sheds light on Te'o, Tuiasosopo relationship

"Reba": The woman Deadspin.com reported whose photo was used to portray Kekua. Deadspin also reported she was a high school classmate of Tuiasosopo's.
Brian Te'o: Manti Te'o's father, who told the South Bend Tribune in October his son had met his girlfriend in person. We now know this not to be true -- as if any further confirmation was needed, Swarbrick said Wednesday that Te'o told him the nature of his relationship was exclusively online and through the phone. According to Swarbrick, the Te'o's were preparing to release the findings of the investigation sometime next week.
Jack Swarbrick: Stood by Te'o's claims in a press conference Wednesday. Swarbrick said he and Te'o met on Dec. 27 and 28 to discuss the matter, which Te'o brought to the attention of his coaches on Dec. 26, and after conferring with Notre Dame officials a private investigative firm was hired. Swarbrick said he presented the findings from that firm to Te'o's parents on Jan. 5. Swarbrick said the findings were not initially made public because Notre Dame was attempting to identify the motive behind the hoax: "Was there somebody trying to create an NCAA violation at the core of this? Was there somebody trying to impact the outcome of football games by manipulating the emotions of a key player? Was there an extortion request coming? When you match the sort of lack of detail we still lacked until we got some help investigating it with the risk involved in some of these possible scenarios, it was clear to me that, until we knew more, we had to just continue to work to try to gather the facts."
Head coach Brian Kelly, defensive coordinator Bob Diaco and a few Notre Dame players: Te'o informed Kelly and Diaco of his situation on Dec. 26, and also discussed the matter with a few teammates he was close to as well.
What's next: It's expected Te'o will speak with the media soon, with most reports pointing to a one-on-one sit-down with a hand-picked television reporter. Hopefully, we'll gain some clarity from that interview, but beyond that, anything from Ronaiah Tuiasosopo or his family may provide more definition to this situation (an attempt to reach Tuiasosopo's father, Titus, by CSNChicago.com was unsuccessful, and multiple outlets have been unsuccessful in contacting Ronaiah Tuiasosopo).

High School coaches 'leave no stone unturned' in helping players explore next level

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Photo at top: Loyola Academy assistant coach Paul Pryma extends his hand toward a Steinmetz High School player during pregame introductions on Feb. 21. (Andres Waters/MEDILL)

High School coaches 'leave no stone unturned' in helping players explore next level

By Andres Waters
Special Contributor to CSNChicago.com

After Loyola Academy held off rival New Trier 43-40 to win the 2017 Zion-Benton regional championship, Ramblers head coach Tom Livatino had a special message for his players.

"That's the best celebration that I have ever been a part of," Livatino said. "Because everybody was completely about love. You guys love each other and we all can tell. I'm really, really proud just to be one of our coaches."

While the speech was a powerful way for Livatino to tell the players of his appreciation, he and other high school coaches engage in something much bigger to show players how proud they are: college recruiting.

In addition to time spent planning and practicing, coaches also sacrifice countless hours each week helping their players find opportunities to play at the next level.

"It's a really long part of the process, but to be honest, it's a part of the job that I absolutely love," Livatino said. "We demand so much of our players in every aspect. And, from a basketball standpoint, the least I could do is everything in my power to help them out."

Less than 48 hours after the Ramblers completed their season with a loss to Evanston Township in the Waukegan Sectional semifinal, Livatino was back in his office holding individual meetings with each player.

Starting with the 10 departing seniors, Livatino discussed the factors that go into choosing a college for high school athletes.

His conversations with the two players who already committed, senior guards Ramar Evans and Matt Lynch, focused on how they felt about their next steps. With the others, Livatino asked whether they wanted to play at the next level and, if so, which schools they wanted to attend that shared an interest in them. The conversations held with the Ramblers' juniors are very similar.

"I wasn't just looking for basketball, I was looking for a fit academically and socially," said Lynch, who committed to Division III St. Norbert College. "[Livatino] said St. Norbert would be the best fit for me. It fit everything I was looking for."

Read the full story at Medill Reports Chicago.

CSN Chicago, in partnership with Northwestern University,  features journalism by students in the graduate program at Medill School of Journalism. The students are reporters for Medill News Service. Medill faculty members edit the student work. Click here for more information about Medill.

From dunks to deliveries: Former No. 1 pick LaRue Martin's unlikely success story

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Photo at top: La Rue Martin poses for a photo at a National Basketball Retired Players Association event. (Photo courtesy of La Rue Martin)

From dunks to deliveries: Former No. 1 pick LaRue Martin's unlikely success story

By Elan Kane
Special Contributor to CSNChicago.com

LaRue Martin Jr. thought his future was set. The Portland Trail Blazers had drafted him No. 1 overall in the 1972 NBA draft. Money and fame awaited.

Fifteen years later, he started work as a UPS driver, struggling to find uniform pants that fit his 6-foot-11 frame.

"There is life after sports," Martin said. "Period."

It's been 45 years since the draft and Martin, a former Loyola University star, is now the UPS Illinois district public affairs and community services manager. He is labeled by many as one of the biggest busts in NBA draft history, but he is fine with that designation.

"I don't believe in saying anything negative, you have no control over that," Martin said. "I took care of my family, did what I had to do and I'm the type of person I can't dwell off the negatives. I can't. I kept my head up high and moved onto a positive mode of life and it has treated me very well."

Martin averaged 5.3 points and 4.6 rebounds in 14 minutes per game in just four seasons with the Trail Blazers. He blames his low numbers on his lack of playing time, but many believe he was just not good enough.

"He didn't get playing time because he [stunk]," said Boston Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan, who has covered the NBA for decades. "[Former No. 1 overall draft pick Michael] Olowokandi didn't do much but I think he did more than that."

Martin is used to the criticism.

"As a young man, reading the papers all the time, that bothered me, I must admit that," Martin said. "But I hold my head up high now because I've been very successful in the corporate world."

Read the full story at Medill Reports Chicago.

CSN Chicago, in partnership with Northwestern University,  features journalism by students in the graduate program at Medill School of Journalism. The students are reporters for Medill News Service. Medill faculty members edit the student work. Click here for more information about Medill.