Alleged mastermind of Te'o hoax to speak

Last updated 11:49 22/01/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Cleveland Indians fans pitch in to buy rookie Ryan Merritt's wedding gifts after game-winning display Two-time Olympic medallist Hayden Roulston to retire from cycling In Cubdom, the anticipation is brimming, the eagerness palpable 'Bad hombre' Andy Ruiz oozing confidence for WBO heavyweight title fight with Joseph Parker Bubble football: the zorb-based craze that could sweep the nation Rio Olympics swimming star Mack Horton thanks fan for suspect mole tip Israel Adesanya ready for Glory as Kiwi closes in on prestigious world kickboxing crown Sophie Pascoe happy to give back as Kiwi Paralympics star returns to the pool Carlos Hicks and Quade Taranaki win Commonwealth titles at Knees of Fury 60 Joseph Parker favoured to beat Andy Ruiz as boxing experts digest WBO heavyweight title fight

The person cast as the mastermind of the hoax involving Notre Dame's Manti Te'o may tell his side of the story, a family member said.

Peter Navy Tuiasosopo, uncle of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, says the family plans to hold a meeting this week to determine when and how his nephew would talk about the bizarre prank.

"We want to do it right," he said, also noting that the family has hired an attorney. He never directly mentioned the hoax or his nephew being involved.

Te'o insisted he had no role in the hoax involving his "dead" girlfriend and told ESPN on Friday night that he was duped by a person who has since apologized to him.

In an off-camera interview, Te'o identified that person as Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a 22-year-old acquaintance who lives in California. He said the young man contacted him soon after broke the news last week. The Deadspin story indicated Ronaiah Tuiasosopo was involved, and suggested Te'o was, too.

"We're just a family of faith. The family is holding up well," Peter Navy Tuiasosopo said. "They're holding up the way I would expect a family to. This is a storm."

He made the comments after attending a two-hour service at the Oasis Christian Church, where his brother, who is Ronaiah's father, is pastor.

Titus Tuiasosopo, the father, choked up as he thanked people for their prayers.

"I've been practicing how to say 'no comment' in 20 languages," the pastor told his congregation. The family has not commented publicly since news of the hoax broke.

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo wasn't seen in attendance, and two church members said he was not there.

Earlier in the day, ABC news announced that Te'o would do his first television interview with Katie Couric. The interview will air Thursday on Couric's daytime talk show and Te'o's parents will be with him. ABC was not releasing details of when the interview would take place or where.

Also, in a story published in Sunday's South Bend Tribune, a Notre Dame spokesman said the university decided against disclosing the hoax before the Irish played Alabama in the BCS championship game on January 7 because it wasn't in the best interest of the teams.

University spokesman Dennis Brown said some school administrators thought they should release what they knew about the hoax when they became aware of it. Te'o went to coaches and school officials with his story on December 26. The school commissioned an investigation that it says confirmed Te'o was not involved. Investigators gave their findings to the school on January 4.

The university officials said the investigators did not examine cellphone records, emails or other electronic communication to determine the length or extent of Te'o's communication over the past few years with the person claiming to be Lennay Kekua, nor did the university ask Te'o to take a lie detector test.

Ad Feedback

The school informed Te'o's parents about the investigation results on January 5.

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content