In an interview with Sports Illustrated‘s Pete Thamel on September 23, 10 days after his grandmother died and his girlfriend supposedly passed away due to leukemia, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o had trouble recalling when he met his girlfriend and what subjects she had majored in in college.
When asked how he had met his girlfriend, Te’o replied: “We met just, ummmm, just she knew my cousin.”
SI: How did you meet her?
TE’O: We met just, ummmm, just she knew my cousin. And kind of saw me there so. Just kind of regular.
SI: How long were you dating? I know that can be a complicated question.
TE’O: Oct. 15 was the official date. Of last year. I’ve known her for four years. So we’ve been friends.
Thamel, on Thursday, released the full transcript of his interview with Te’o. Thamel’s story, which was a glowing profile of Te’o, was published on October 1. It was titled, “The Full Manti: After spurning the NFL for one more year in South Bend and suffering a pair of heartbreaking personal losses, all-everything linebacker Manti Te’o has emerged as the physical and emotional center of an Irish uprising.”
When asked what his girlfriend had studied in college, Te’o said he would have to “double check”:
SI: What did she study?
TE’O: She graduated in 2011 or 2010. 2011.
SI: What was her major?
TE’O: Her major was in English and something. I’ll double check.
SI: I can call Stanford and check. They have to have some record or note that she passed.
Thamel, during the interview, said he could call Stanford, where Te’o’s girlfriend had reportedly studied, and check. Had he done so, he may have broken the story in October about Te’o’s nonexistent girlfriend.