Yahoo! - Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said he believes Manti Te’o was victim of a hoax and he thinks just as highly of the linebacker as he always did. Swarbrick, who held a press conference [called] it a “very elaborate, very sophisticated hoax,” said he met with Te’o and trusts what he heard from him… Swarbrick said Te’o's personality left him open to this hoax. In many ways, Manti was the perfect mark, because he is a guy who is so willing to believe in others and so ready to help, that as this hoax played out in a way that called upon those tendencies of Manti, it roped him more and more into the trap,” Swarbrick said. “He was not a person who would have a second thought about offering his assistance and help.” Swarbrick said Te’o got call when he was at a college football awards show in Orlando, which was Dec. 6, from a number he knew to be Kekua. The voice on the other end was the one he knew as Kekua, Swarbrick said, and she told Te’o he was not dead. “Manti was very unnerved by that, as you might imagine,” Swarbrick said. Te’o called Notre Dame’s coaches early in the morning on Dec. 26 to tell them what happened… Swarbrick said he was comfortable with the consistencies in Te’o's story. Swarbrick said it was exclusively an online relationship.

 Manti Te’o's statement - 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.

So there’s your explanation.  There but for the grace of God go I.  Let ye who never met a fake girl online and talked to her on the phone every night then said she was the most beautiful girl you ever met only to have her die in your metaphorical cyber arms cast the first stone.  Needless to say the internet is going wild with conspiracy theories:

*Te’o invented Lennay Kekua because he wanted the publicity.

*He thought a good sob story would help him win the Heisman. 

*He got tired of being the middle child and his older sister Marcia being really popular with boys so he said he had a girlfriend too and her name is “um, Lennay” and when mom and dad asked what her last name is he looked around the room and saw a glass and said “Glass.  Yes, that’s it.  Lennay Glass…” but later changed it to Kekua.

*Te’o made her up so he could pretend there’s a charity in her name and then at Christmas get out of buying gifts and just give people a card that says “A donation in your name has been given to the Lennay Kekua Memorial Human Fund.”

*Lennay Kekua is Te’o's Randall Stevens.  A phantom.  Someone he invented to set up a series of dummy accounts so he could launder kickback money for an evil prison warden.  And if they trace any accounts, they´ll wind up chasing a figment of Te’o's imagination.

*El Pres invented the whole thing to discredit Notre Dame, cost us them the National Championship and sell t-shirts.

*Lennay was concocted by the Democrats to elect the first woman president because they know in Hawaii you can get any fake identity document you need.

But I’m going with this one because it makes the most sense:

*Bill Belichick is behind the whole thing because he knows Te’o is a once-in-a-generation player who’d never fall to the end of the 1st round of the draft unless he was in a major scandal that threw up all sorts of character issues.

Perfect.  It worked with Aaron Hernandez positive drug test in 2010.  It worked with Alfonzo Dennard slugging a cop last year.  And it’ll work here.  Te’o is toxic right now.  But once he’s on his way to winning the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year, all will be forgiven.  Besides, his grandmother was real.  So he’s 1-for-2 on the Loved One Credibility Front.  I’ll take those odds.  @JerryThornton1