NCAA Talk

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).

DePaul basketball program on the rise after landing 5-star recruit Tyger Campbell

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AP

DePaul basketball program on the rise after landing 5-star recruit Tyger Campbell

DePaul hoops received a huge boost this week as five-star recruit Tyger Campbell committed to the university.

The elite point guard recruit out of La Lumiere, will join the Class of 2018, choosing DePaul over schools like Michigan State, Illinois and Memphis.

"I like DePaul and honestly my coach (Shane Heirman) just went there and we have a great connection and he's always had my back," Campbell told Scout.com. "I like [DePaul] coach Dave Leitao, too. I like his program and he's an intelligent guy.

"Mainly what I like about the school is I want to help bring it back. I love Chicago; it's a great city. I want to bring the city a college back to cheer for."

Campbell also said the Blue Demons' new Wintrust Arena at McCormick Place Event Center, which is slated to open this fall, is a big draw for him.

The Blue Demons are a combined 18-45 the last two seasons and hasven't had a winning season since 2006-07 when they went 20-14 and made the NIT Quarterfinals.

The program last made the NCAA Tournament in 2003-04 during Leitao's first stint as the team's head coach.

Northern Illinois adds running back Fotis Kokosioulis

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USA TODAY

Northern Illinois adds running back Fotis Kokosioulis

Northern Illinois University added it's fourth known verbal commitment today in its growing Class of 2018.

Maine South junior running back Fotis Kokosioulis (5-foot-8, 165 pounds) added an offer from the Huskies on Tuesday after making a spring practice visit, and today he gave head coach Rod Carey his verbal commitment.

"I chose NIU because it's been a school that I've liked for awhile now," Kokosioulis said moments ago. "I like the facilities at NIU, the stadium and everything else they have to offer. I also really like all the coaches at NIU. I felt that even if I got more offers I would've still chose NIU over other schools. I know that there are bigger school and programs but I feel that I just fit in well at NIU, so I committed."

Kokosioulis, who was an All-State performer for the Class 8A state champion Maine South Hawks in 2016, is now the fourth known in-state verbal commitment for Rod Carey and the Huskies and the fifth known commitment overall. Kokosioulis joins Andrew defensive end Mike DeHaan, Plainfield East defensive end Jack Sullivan and Danville tight end Julian Pearl in the NIU Huskies in-state Class of 2018.