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Manti Te’o Lennay Kekua Hoax Timeline

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10 Key Dates For Manti Te'o Hoax Involving Lennay Kekua

Matt Cashore--USA Today Sports

One of the biggest stories from this week involves Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and how he was the victim of a hoax with Lennay Kekua—his supposed girlfriend that passed away in September due to leukemia that never existed to begin with.

Turns out, Te’o was part of an experience similar to the Catfish show in which he was led to believe that Kukua existed, but the facts leading up to this week are a bit shady. All year, Te’o was an inspiration to just about any fan that watched college football considering he lost his “girlfriend” within hours after his grandma in September.

What Te’o accomplished this year was nothing short of amazing as he led Notre Dame’s defense to being one of the best in the country as the Irish went undefeated during the regular season before getting crushed by the Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Championship.

There’s no question this latest incident involving Te’o will hurt his draft stock as his trust becomes huge issue, but there’s no question he has what it takes to be an effective linebacker in the NFL. Still, it’s difficult to ignore the facts that have come in over the last few days and there’s no telling how this situation is going to play out.

Here’s a look at the top 10 key dates over the last few months involving Te’o and this bizarre incident.

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September 11: Manti Te'o's Grandmother Passes Away

Matt Cashore--USA Today Sports

Tao’s grandmother passed away on September 11 and we were led to believe all season that his supposed girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, died within hours later of leukemia. Everybody gave Te’o all of the credit in the world for his inspiration to play despite dealing with such tragedy.

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September 15: Manti Te'o Plays Against Michigan State

Matt Cashore--USA Today Sports

Despite all of the recommendations to sit out, Te’o was an inspiration to the country as he ended up playing against the Michigan State Spartans on September 15. In that game, Te’o recorded 12 tackles as he displayed a stellar performance with a heavy heart for the deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend.

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September 22: Manti Te'o Plays Against Michigan On Day Lennay Kekua is Buried

Brian Spurlock--USA Today Sports

On the day that Kekua was supposedly buried, Te’o played against the Michigan Wolverines after claiming she wanted him to skip the funeral so he would still play. In that game, Te’o recorded two key interceptions as Notre Dame won an epic defensive battle.

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September 23: Manti Te'o Gives Interview With Sports Illustrated

Brian Spurlock--USA Today Sports

Ta’o participates in a one-on-one interview with Sports Illustrated in which he describes his relationship with Kekua—including the first time they met in person. It’s kind of difficult to meet someone in person when they don’t exist in the first place to begin with, right?

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December 6: Manti Te'o Receives Phone Call

Gary A. Vasquez--USA Today Sports

On this day, Te’o receives a phone call and finds out for the first time that Kekua wasn’t dead after all—leaving him in a state of shock after receiving a phone call.

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December 8: Manti Te'o Attends Heisman Trophy Presentation

Jerry Lai--USA Today Sports

Despite losing to Johnny Manziel, it’s difficult not to wonder what type of mindset Te’o is in after receiving the unexpected phone call just days before. Te’o finished second in the voting for the Heisman that night.

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December 26: Manti Te'o Breaks the News to Notre Dame

Robert Mayer--USA Today Sports

The program finds out about the hoax—which is the last thing they need to deal with before their big National Championship. Te’o begins to tell members of the coaching staff about the situation and how he was the victim of the hoax in which his girlfriend never existed to begin with.

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January 7: Manti Te'o Struggles Against Alabama in National Championship

Matt Cashore--USA Today Sports

Te’o struggles against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Championship—which makes sense now considering he must have had the hoax on his mind. The Irish were embarrassed in the national spotlight and Te’o hurts his draft stock with a poor performance.

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January 16: Manti Te'o Hoax News Breaks About Lennay Kekua Not Existing

Steve Mitchell--USA Today Sports

The report comes out about the hoax, but the details of the situation are shady. It becomes clear that Te’o’s girlfriend never existed, but the main question everybody is interested in discovering is how long did he know and if he led others on for his own image as an inspirational player.

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January 18: Manti Te'o Still Hasn't Spoken to Media

Matthew Emmons--USA Today Sports

Te’o has still yet to speak to the media about the situation—which arguably makes the situation even worse to deal with. The fact that he continues to push off addressing the issue makes you wonder what exactly it is he’s trying to cover up and what he’s trying to do in order to hide it.