Notre Dame Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick held a press conference Wednesday about Manti Te'o's girlfriend hoax.
The following is the transcript of the press conference:
John Heisler: This is John Heisler here at the University of Notre Dame. We have with us Jack Swarbrick. He's our Vice President and Director of Athletics. He's going to make opening comments. He'll be happy to take questions when he's finished with the opening statement. We'll take questions from you here in person. Just raise your hand as you would for a normal press conference, and we'll get a microphone to you. We will have a transcript of this we'll make available to you as well that will be on our website as well.
At this point, I'll turn it over to Jack Swarbrick.
Jack Swarbrick: Good evening. Thanks to all of you for joining us on relatively short notice. We're here tonight, obviously, because of an article that appeared in Dead Spin earlier today and to address the subject matter of that article.
My focus here tonight is to talk to you about what the University knew, when we knew it, and what decisions we made based on that information. Much of what drove that process and those decisions relates in part to a fundamental view of the importance of student privacy, and that will likely play a role tonight also because, at the end of the day, this is Manti's story to tell and we believe he should have the right to tell it, which he is going to do.
So there may be some questions this evening which I defer to him, but I will try to be as responsive as I possibly can to all of your questions.
While we still don't know all of the dimensions of this and other than the perpetrators, I can assure you that no one knows all of the dimensions of this there are certain things that I feel confident we do know. The first is that this was a very elaborate, very sophisticated hoax perpetrated for reasons we can't fully understand but had a certain cruelty at its core, based on the exchanges that we were able to see between some of the people who perpetrated it.
Manti was the victim of that hoax. Manti is the victim of that hoax, and he will carry that with him for a while.
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 and roped him more and more into the trap. He was not a person who would have a second thought about offering his assistance and help in engaging fully.