published Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Manti Te’o tells ESPN 'there is no way I could be part of' hoax.

  • photo
    Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o answers a question during media day for the BCS national championship NCAA college football game in Miami. The wrenching story of Te'o's girlfriend dying of leukemia _ a loss he said inspired him to play his best all the way to the BCS championship — was dismissed by the school Wednesday as a hoax perpetrated against the linebacker.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NEW YORK — ESPN says Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o maintains he was never involved in creating the dead girlfriend hoax.

He said in an off-camera interview Friday night: “When they hear the facts they’ll know. They’ll know there is no way I could be a part of this.”

The comments were Te’o’s first public remarks since Deadspin.com reported that his girlfriend not only didn’t die but, in fact, never existed. Notre Dame and Te’o insist he was the victim of a cruel joke. Still unanswered are questions why the All-American never made it clear he knew the woman only online and by telephone.

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