Manti Te’o to be interviewed by Katie Couric
(ABC)–Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o will be interviewed by Katie Couric, the first on-camera interview given by the All-American since news broke about the dead girlfriend hoax.
Te’o and his parents will appear on Couric’s syndicated daytime talk show Thursday. ABC News announced the interview Sunday, but gave no details as to when it will take place and where.
The interview will air on “Katie” on ABC7-WJLA Thursday at 4 p.m.
Te’o gave an off-camera interview with ESPN on Friday night. He insists he was the victim of the hoax, not a participant. The Heisman Trophy runner-up said he had an online romance with a woman he never met and in September was informed that the woman died from leukemia.
Te’o told ESPN that the person suspected of being the mastermind of the hoax has contacted him and apologized.
Couric, now a special correspondent for ABC News, formerly worked as the anchor for the CBS Evening News and was a co-host of NBC’s Today Show.
The strange tale of Te’o apparently being duped by an elaborate hoax, pulled off by a California man, has put the Heisman Trophy finalist in national headlines – from the Wall Street Journal to TMZ. In the
The man he said apologized to him for pulling the scam, 22-year-old Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, has not spoken publicly. He and his family have decline the AP’s numerous requests for interviews.
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Te’o reached out to his coaches and university officials on Dec. 26, and the school commissioned an investigation that he said confirmed Te’o was not involved in the hoax. The school received the findings of the investigation on Jan. 4, three days before Notre Dame played Alabama in the BCS title game.
A Notre Dame spokesman said some school administrators thought they should release what they knew about what the hoax as soon as they became aware of it, but the university ultimately decided to let Te’o and his family be first to go public with the story.
Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown told the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune in a story published Sunday that university officials decided disclosing the information about the hoax before the BCS championship in Miami would not be in the best interest of the teams or the individuals involved.
The hoax about Te’os dead girlfriend became public Wednesday when it was reported by Deadspin.com. Swarbrick held a news conference later that day to discuss what Notre Dame knew, and gave full support to Te’o. Later, Swarbrick said the family had intended to speak publicly about the hoax Jan. 21.
Brown said the university was “utterly stunned” when Te’o informed them about details of the hoax on Dec. 26 and had a “difficult time getting our arms around it.”
Te’o met with Swarbrick for nearly two hours on Dec. 27 after returning to campus to give a full account of his relationship with the online woman he knew as Lennay Kekua, and then again the next day, Brown said.
How the university should proceed was the topic of discussions between top administrators for a week, Brown said.
The university hired outside investigators on Dec. 29.
“We asked them to focus on any threats to the university or its reputation, by providing more information about the so-called Kekua family that might help us understand motives, or whether they might have had any contact with others at Notre Dame,” said Brown, who declined to name the firm.
The investigators were in touch the next day, telling the university they could find no evidence of a Lennay Kekua or any of the relatives she had told Te’o about in several “sophisticated databases” the firm used. Brown said the investigators concluded “the entire family was fictitious, because of their inability to find them, and that the investigation should turn to trying to identify the woman who had been talking to Manti.”
Investigators determined the address the woman had given Te’o was real, with a house there that belonged to members of a family named Tuiasosopo, including Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
Brown said the investigators hired by Notre Dame didn’t try to reach Tuiasosopo or his relatives.
The university officials told the newspaper the investigators did not examine cellphone records, emails or other electronic communication to determine the length or extent of Te’o’s communication over the past few years with the person claiming to be Kekua, nor did the university ask Te’o to take a lie detector test.
The school informed Teo’s parents, Brian and Ottilia, about the investigation results on Jan. 5.
Capitals vs. Jets: Jets top Caps 4-2
(ABC)–Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler each provided a goal and an assist, and the Winnipeg Jets suddenly transformed into an offensive juggernaut, beating Alex Ovechkin’s struggling Capitals 4-2 Tuesday night to end Washington’s 10-game winning streak in home openers.
Two games and two losses into the lockout-shortened season – and new Washington boss Adam Oates’ NHL head coaching career – Ovechkin doesn’t have a goal, the Capitals have been outscored 10-5, and their opponents are 5 for 12 on power plays.
Andrew Ladd and Jim Slater also scored, and Tobias Enstrom had three assists for Winnipeg (1-1-1), which outshot the Capitals 39-34.
The Jets scored only two goals in their first 137Â½ minutes of play this season. They matched that total with a pair of power-play scores in a 4-minute span during the first period Tuesday.
For the first time since May 9 of last year, the area around the Verizon Center was buzzing with excited hockey fans.
A breakdown in negotiations between the players, owners and the league forced a lockout and the cancellation of dozens of games. That lockout ended earlier this month, and the Capitals and the rest of the league began an abbreviated 48-game regular season on Saturday.
The Washington Capitals’ debut in 2013 fell well short of expectations, though, in a 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
“We came into Tampa really comfortable and realized there were a few hiccups in our game,” center Matt Hendricks said. “We worked on them yesterday, a little bit today, and are trying to take advantage of our way of preparing.”
The Caps piled on eight penalties in that loss, which players attributed to fatigue at their Tuesday morning skatearound.
“I think the conditioning stuff plays with your nerves,” Hendricks said. “The first game of the year, a lot of nerves and a lot of butterflies affect your performance. I think having that first game out of the way is going to help us.”
One of the bright spots in Washington’s loss was Joel Ward. The man who scored a Game 7 overtime goal to clinch a playoff series victory over Boston last year scored two goals against Tampa. It was his first multi-goal game as a Capital.
“It was good to help contribute, but it’s bittersweet because we didn’t get the two points,” Ward said. “It was definitely a long delay over the break so it was good to be part of it and now the goal is to keep moving forward.”
Now, Washington’s attention is focused on hosting Winnipeg Tuesday night. The Jets are coming off a shootout loss to Boston but pose a threat in winger Evander Kane. In 18 games against the Capitals, Kane has scored eight goals and three assists.
“He’s a great player all around,” Hendricks said. “Kane’s got a lot of speed, a great shot, he’s a very offensive threat with 30+ goals last season. We’re going to have to play him hard, make things difficult for him and keep the puck off his stick.”
Braden Holtby will start again in net tonight after a shaky performance against Tampa Bay. Holtby stopped 28 of 34 shots with plenty of defensive breakdowns in front of him. Head coach Adam Oates said the plan all along was to stick with Holtby, and Oates was just as decisive about resting a still injured Brooks Laich.
“The one thing we don’t want to do is rush him and set him back,” Oates said. “We can’t afford that.”
But Laich’s teammates are ready to rush back to home ice in their first game at Verizon Center since losing to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
“I’ve been looking forward to this,” Hendricks said. “it’s one of the best venues to play in, the best in the NHL…let’s rock the red.”
Caps fan Andrew Weegand drove all the way from Waldorf to Arlington to watch the team practice before Tuesday night’s game. He hopes the team wins big Tuesday night and all season long.
“I think with the home energy and the fans they’ll step it up, and I think they’ll make a run at it,” Weegand says.
Many say a run for the playoffs isn’t out of the question even this early in the shortened season.
“We are a group of guys that we think are good enough to win, and we haven’t been close enough yet, so are expectations are to go all the way to the end,” defenseman Karl Alzner said.
Ravens Upset Patriots 28-13 to Set Up Brother-vs.-Brother Super Bowl
(ABC)–When the Baltimore Ravens last went to the Super Bowl, Art Modell was owner of the team and Brian Billick was the coach.
Now, 12 years later, they’re back with owner Steve Bisciotti, coach John Harbaugh and one significant link to both teams: Ray Lewis.
Drawing inspiration from their long-time middle linebacker, the Ravens will play San Francisco after bullying their way past New England 28-13 Sunday night to win the AFC championship. The victory ended a lengthy dry spell for a franchise with one Super Bowl appearance in 17 years of existence.
The magnitude of the accomplishment hadn’t quite sunk in Monday.
Quarterback Joe Flacco says, “We’re still on a little bit of a high … I don’t know if anybody quite believed it yet, but it’s pretty real.”
Flacco outdueled Tom Brady Sunday, throwing three touchdown passes in the second half and leading the Baltimore Ravens to their first Super Bowl in 12 years with a 28-13 victory over the New England Patriots for the AFC championship.
The win sets up the first Super Bowl coached by brothers, Baltimore’s John Harbaugh and San Francisco’s Jim. The 49ers won the NFC title earlier Sunday 28-24 at Atlanta.
The 49ers have been listed as 5-point favorites.
Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis’ final season will conclude in two weeks in New Orleans; he was the MVP of the 2001 game, the Ravens’ only Super Bowl win.
Flacco had two touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin and one to Dennis Pitta as the Ravens outscored the Patriots 21-0 in the second half. Baltimore’s defense made Brady look ordinary and stymied the league’s top offense. Brady was 67-0 at home when leading at halftime.