Notre Dame's Athletic Director is named Jack Swarbrick. It's a hell of a name. On Wednesday night, he gave a press conference to divulge what Notre Dame knew about Manti Te'o's fake dead girlfriend (they've known for weeks, since December 26, allegedly, and Te'o talked to him about it on January 6). For the most part, Jack Swarbrick largely stood behind Te'o's story "very elaborate, very sophisticated hoax with a certain cruelty at its core." He also lectured about the movie/MTV show "Catfish." A few bits and pieces from his official statement is below.
Via CBS Tom Fornelli:
"On the morning of December 26, Manti called his coach to inform him that while he was in attendance at ESPN awards show he received a phone call from a phone number he had associated with Lennay Kekua," said Swarbrick. "It was a person whose voice sounded like the same person, who told him she was in fact not dead."
Swarbrick also went on to say that the relationship between Te'o and Kekua was "exclusively an online relationship."
Swarbrick said he arranged a meeting with Te'o for December 27, and said Te'o shared with him the details of the relationship. Notre Dame then hired an outside firm to investigate the case, receiving a final report with the investigation's findings on January 4.
"Our investigators were able to discover online chatter among the perpetrators, the joy they were taking, the sort of casualness they were referring to among themselves," said Swarbrick of the investigation.
"We know these perpetrators did not limit themselves to Manti as a target."
Swarbrick also talked about the detail that those "perpetrators" went to in the hoax, saying there was even an address given to send flowers after Kekua's manufactured death. Swarbrick also says there were "several meetings" set up between Te'o and Kekua, including in the state of Hawaii, but Kekua never showed up.
Swarbrick was also very clear that the emotions and feelings that Te'o shared publicly about Kekua were all real.
"Every single thing about this was real to Manti," said Swarbrick. "There was no suspicion. The grief was real, the affection was real, and that's the sad nature of this cruel game."
But then, weirdly, he started crying over the ordeal. Video when we video it.
Jack Swarbrick is now crying because Manti Te'o will never be able to "trust" again. This press conference has been absolutely fascinating.— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) January 17, 2013
You can't make this stuff up. The story about Manti Te'o's fake dead girlfriend keeps getting weirder and weirder.