The cast of characters in the Manti Te'o saga

The cast of characters in the Manti Te'o saga
January 17, 2013, 6:12 pm
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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 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 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 was unsuccessful, and multiple outlets have been unsuccessful in contacting Ronaiah Tuiasosopo).