NEW YORK – The woman whose photo was used as the face of the Twitter account of Manti Te’o’s supposed girlfriend says the man allegedly behind the hoax confessed and apologized to her.
Diane O’Meara told NBC’s Today show Tuesday that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo used pictures of her without her knowledge in creating a fake woman called Lennay Kekua. Te’o asserts he was tricked into an online romance with Kekua and, until earlier this month, did not understand he was being hoaxed.
O’Meara went to high school in California with Tuiasosopo, but she says they’re not close. He called to apologize Jan. 16, the day Deadspin.com broke the hoax story, she said.
I don’t think there’s anything he could say to me that would fix this, said O’Meara, a 23-year-old marketing executive in Los Angeles.
O’Meara said she had never had any contact with Te’o.
Te’o did an off-camera interview with ESPN last week and is scheduled to appear with his parents on Katie Couric’s syndicated talk show Thursday.
Daytona unveils plans for upgrade
Daytona International Speedway unveiled new details on its proposed redevelopment of the historic 53-year-old Florida racetrack including five new entrances, a second pedestrian bridge for easier access to the track and an expanded grandstand area with thousands of new seats.
NASCAR satisfied with Gen-6 race car
With just more than three weeks remaining until the debut of the Gen-6 race car, NASCAR is convinced its product will be better this season.
Around the leagues
Time Warner Cable will pay $7 billion in a deal to carry Los Angeles Dodgers games for at least the next two decades starting in 2014. Mark DeRosa agreed to a $775,000, one-year contract with Toronto. Philadelphia signed Delmon Young to a one-year deal for $750,000. Mike Napoli signed a $5 million, one-year contract with Boston after a multiyear deal fell through because of health concerns. Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax is going to work for the Los Angeles Dodgers as a special adviser. St. Louis and reliever Jason Motte agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.
Grizzlies, Cavs seal multi-player deal
Memphis agreed to trade Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a future first-round draft pick to Cleveland for Jon Leuer.
2 assistants leave in Suns’ shakeup
Phoenix assistant coaches Dan Majerle and Elston Turner have not shown up for any practices after general manager Les Blanks passed over them and inserted player development director Lindsey Hunter as interim coach.
Around the campus
Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic are leaving the Sun Belt Conference early and joining Conference USA on July 1 Buffalo Wild Wings reached a sponsorship deal with the NCAA to be the official hangout of the March Madness men’s basketball tournament. The agreement also includes various rights for all 89 NCAA championships through 2016.
Eagles win ECHL skills competition
The host Colorado Eagles defeated the All-Stars 10-5 at the ECHL All-Star Game Skills Competition. The Komets’ Daniel Maggio was in the hardest-shot competition, his 84.1 mph was the slowest of the eight participants, and he was 1 of 5 in the Rapid Fire Event.
Holmstrom ending career with Detroit
Tomas Holmstrom made his retirement official after 15 seasons with the Red Wings. The Red Wings signed defenseman Kent Huskins to a one-year contract and recalled forward Gustav Nyquist from Grand Rapids of the AHL and put right wing Todd Bertuzzi and defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo on the injured reserve list.
Colorado forward Edson Buddle and San Jose defender Steven Beitashour left the U.S. men’s national team’s training camp in Carson, Calif., because of injuries. Defender Ali Krieger is returning to the U.S. women’s team after tearing knee ligaments a year ago.