Te'o is claiming that he is "really embarrassed" about the entire event that happened back in September, after he spoke to numerous media outlets claiming that his girlfriend Lennay Lekua had recently died following a battle with cancer. This statement came to light just a few hours after Te'o's grandmother had passed away.
The university said that Notre Dame coaches were informed by Te'o and his parents on Dec. 26 that Te'o had been the victim of what appeared to be a hoax. Someone using a fictitious name ''apparently ingratiated herself with Manti and then conspired with others to lead him to believe she had tragically died of leukemia,'' the school said.
The university also revealed that ''the proper authorities'' are investigating a ''very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators.'' Notre Dame would not say who, specifically, was investigating the case.
Te'o reportedly explained what actually happened during a newly released statement to the media:
"This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online. We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her.
To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.
It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of my grandmother's death in September were in any way deepened by what I believed to be another significant loss in my life.
I am enormously grateful for the support of my family, friends and Notre Dame fans throughout this year. To think that I shared with them my happiness about my relationship and details that I thought to be true about her just makes me sick. I hope that people can understand how trying and confusing this whole experience has been.
In retrospect, I obviously should have been much more cautious. If anything good comes of this, I hope it is that others will be far more guarded when they engage with people online than I was.
Fortunately, I have many wonderful things in my life, and I'm looking forward to putting this painful experience behind me as I focus on preparing for the NFL Draft."
What do you think, Manti Te'o duped, or making excuses about the dead girlfriend story?