Manti Te’o has reportedly told friends that he knew the truth about Lennay Kekua since early December but continued the lie for 20 days because he did not want to be a distraction to his team, TMZ reports.
Sources told the entertainment site it is true what Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said Wednesday: Te’o was a victim of a cruel prank known as the “Notre Dame Hoax.” The AD said that Manti realized he had been hoaxed on Dec. 6, when he got a phone call from “Lennay” months after he thought she had died.
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But, according to sources close to TMZ, Manti did not tell coaches about the hoax until Dec. 26 because he believed it would be a huge distraction for the team as they prepared for their BCS National Championship against Alabama.
(Alabama crushed Notre Dame 42-14.)
During those 20 days, Manti reportedly struggled with how to be handle the situation but decided to come clean to his coaches.
Manti is currently training for the NFL combine and is getting great support from the athletes he’s been training with.