ESPN is reporting that an anonymous teammate of Te'o said they knew she wasn't his girlfriend and that Manti was playing it for the media attention. Anything from an anonymous source needs to be taken with a grain of salt but...
While not saying that Manti Te'o participated in or knew about the hoax that his girlfriend did not exist, a former teammate told ESPN's Bob Holtzman on Wednesday that players knew the woman wasn't really his girlfriend even though Te'o played that up as his tragic story was being told.
In September, the grandmother of Te'o died, and it was widely reported that his girlfriend died hours later. Media outlets pounced on the story as Notre Dame began its march to the title game. After Deadspin.com broke the hoax story, however, multiple media reports have said players thought that Te'o had only met Lennay Kekua once and that it wasn't really accurate to call her his girlfriend. But as condolences poured in, Te'o "played along," according to the teammate, who wished to remain anonymous.
The teammate portrayed the move as part of the All-American's personality, telling ESPN that Te'o liked attention so much that he would sometimes point himself out to friends when he was on television.