Notre Dame AD encouraging Te'o to speak publicly

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick says the school has encouraged linebacker Manti Te'o to

speak publicly — and soon — about being the victim of a hoax involving a dead girlfriend who never existed.

Swarbrick said during the taping of his

weekly radio show, which airs regionally on Saturday but was posted

online as a podcast

on Friday, that Te'o has to explain exactly how he was duped into

an online relationship with a woman whose "death" was then

faked by the perpetrators of the hoax.

"I don't have any specific knowledge as to

how and when, but I can't fathom a circumstance where it doesn't

(happen). I sort

of share everybody's view that it has to happen. We are certainly

encouraging it to happen. We think it's important and we'd

like to see it happen sooner rather than later," Swarbrick said.

Swarbrick added that before broke the news with a lengthy report on Wednesday, Te'o and his family had planned

to go public with the story Monday.

"Sometimes the best laid plans don't quite work, and this was an example of that. Because the family lost the opportunity

in some ways to control the story," he said.

He said the university doesn't have anything more to add.

"It is in the Te'o family's court," he said.

"We are very much encouraging them. I hope by the time people are

listening to

this they have made themselves available to explain and to take

questions, because we think that's in everybody's interest.

It's certainly our expectation at Notre Dame that they would do


Swarbrick said again he is confident Te'o is

the victim and did not back away from the strong support he gave the


during a news conference Wednesday night, when the AD said an

investigation done by a firm hired by the school turned up evidence

that supports Te'o's claim he was not involved.

Swarbrick said he will continue to believe that until given "compelling evidence to the contrary."

He said he understands why some people are skeptical about Te'o's story.

"They have every right to say that,"

Swarbrick said "Now I have some more information than they have. But

they have every

right to say that. I don't feel any sort of ill will toward that

position. If I was on the outside of this presented with

the only facts I have at this point — and importantly at the time

we're recording this Manti has yet to speak publicly — I

think that skepticism is easy to understand. I just ask those

people to apply the same skepticism to everything about this.

"I have no doubt the perpetrators have a story they will yet spin about what went on here. I hope skepticism also greets that

when they're articulating what that is."