According to the university, a person under a fictitious name "ingratiated herself" with Te'o. That person conspired with others to led him to believe she had died of leukemia, and on the same day as the death of his grandmother.
Swarbrick said that in December Te'o received a phone call from the number that Te'o knew to be that of his girlfriend "Lennay Kekua." The woman then confessed that she misled him, and Swarbrick said he had no idea of motive.
"This was a very elaborate and sophisticated hoax," said Swarbrick, in a press conference that lasted roughly 50 minutes. "Manti is the victim of that hoax.
"It impacted Manti as a person significantly," Swarbrick added.
Swarbrick became choked up when discussing how Te'o was affected.
"The single-most trusting human being I've ever met will never be trusting again," said Swarbrick. "That's the tragedy."
Swarbrick stated that Notre Dame used a private investigator to learn more details about the hoax.
"Our investigators were able to discover online chatter among the perpetrators, the joy they were taking, the sort of casualness they were referring to among themselves," said Swarbrick of the investigation.
"We know these perpetrators did not limit themselves to Manti as a target."
According to Deadspin.com, a friend of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who reportedly is a close friend of Te'o, told Deadspin reporters Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey that he was "80 percent sure" that Te'o was "in on it," and that Te'o and Tuiasosopo concocted the story with publicity in mind.