Unless you're living under a rock, you've heard about Deadspin's bombshell story on Manti Te'o's deceased girlfriend being a "hoax".
I've read several articles that go very in-depth (here are a few: Clay Travis, Dan Wetzel of Yahoo!, and SI’s Michael Rosenberg) in looking at each of the elements of the story. To simplify it, and not turn this into a Bill Simmons' column, I've compiled twenty questions that we need answered:
Why did Te'o wait instead of going directly to Notre Dame, and/or the police, once he found out about this "hoax" on December 6th?
If Te'o Skypes with is parents, why wouldn't he use Skype or some other video chat application with someone that he called "the love of his life"?
How could any male college student have an exclusively online relationship with a female for three years without eventually meeting face-to-face?
How does that same male college student rebuff the advances of countless female college students for an online girlfriend that he's never had any sort of physical relationship – not even holding hands - with?
When reading of the story, how did no one at Stanford University (one of Notre Dame's longtime rivals) ever look into Lennay Kekua? As Clay Travis mentioned, wouldn't Stanford officials want to know more about the story of a student who tragically died at a young age from cancer only weeks after getting into a horrific car crash?
Why didn't Te'o try to visit Kekua in the hospital after a life-threatening car crash, or at any point while she was suffering from life-threatening cancer?
Why didn't Te'o meet Kekua face-to-face when Notre Dame played at Stanford last season?
Te'o claimed he sent flowers for Kekua's funeral - where did they really go? Wouldn't they have been sent back to him?
If this story was Te'o's doing, why would he kill off his mythical girlfriend on the same week that his real grandmother passed away?
How did no one in the media try to track down any of Kekua's family members for how they felt about Te'o and his close relationship with their daughter/sister/cousin/whatever to add to the story?
Since Te'o claims he never met Kekua, and the media misinterpreted what he was saying, why didn't Te'o try to correct inaccuracies in their stories?
Why did Te'o mention his girlfriend in a December 8th interview, two days after he claims to have found out it was a hoax? Was he too embarrassed to reveal he had been hoodwinked at that point, or was he in too deep on his own lie?
What did Notre Dame find in their investigation?
Since they are vehemently defending Te’o, does that mean they found something concrete during the investigation that inclines them to believe his story?
Does Te'o have the cell phone records of his conversations with Kekua? What number did he call, or did "she" call him from? Who is that number registered to?
What is Te'o's relationship with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo (who we know is real)?
The girl in the photo (who isn't Lennay Kekua) was a former classmate of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo
If Tuiasosopo was the mastermind behind this elaborate hoax, what caused him to mislead and humiliate his so-called friend?
Finally, what is the incentive for an outside party to lure Te'o into this intricate web of lies?
This is a mess. As with any complicated and twisted stories with multiple layers, I generally apply the Occam's Razor principle: among competing theories, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be believed. Employing that principle makes it hard to believe that several people perpetuated an elaborate, sophisticated, three-year hoax only to humiliate Te'o, despite no financial incentive. It just doesn't seem plausible. Perhaps Te'o was duped to an extent, which some media members believe, or maybe it goes even deeper than that. Regardless, he would still be guilty of embellishing and/or lying about aspects of his relationship with a person that didn't exist.
Hopefully, Jeremy Schaap gets some answers tonight we get some answers.
UPDATE 12:34 PM: Te'o's interview with Jeremy Schapp has been cancelled (h/t Eric Maroun). It is unknown right now whether there will be an interview at some point today.