And when he answered it it was a person. Whose voice sounded like the same voice he would talk to. Who told him. That she was in fact not yet. -- -- Was very unnerved by that as you might imagine. I... See More
And when he answered it it was a person. Whose voice sounded like the same voice he would talk to. Who told him. That she was in fact not yet. -- -- Was very unnerved by that as you might imagine. I will let him again talk about that and his reaction to it. But he maintained. That. Secret vis a vis the members of the football family until we called the coaches. On the morning of the 26. They promptly reached out to me. To inform me of this shocking piece of news. And I arranged to meet -- anti upon his return to campus. And did so on the afternoon of -- 27. I met -- man -- for about an hour 45 minutes. And asked him to review. Every detail. Of the relationship. Has he knew it with this woman. -- I did so was forthright. Answered every question. Home. And was eager. To share the information with me. I met with him again the next day. As I had put the notes together from the previous day's meeting. To just review again what we've gone over to make sure I had all the details correct. And again he was a full and excellent partner in making sure that -- the information -- collected was accurate. I then -- for that information. And share it with other leaders in the university. Four. The liberation as the next steps what we should do. Some additional questions of man -- -- then. Developed. To which -- again promptly responded. And a decision was made. To engage in investing in independent investigative firm. To see if they could determine. What was that the nature. Of what increasingly appear to us to be a sophisticated hoax. Wild prize by that investigative firm. Of their work along the way. We received a final report from them. On January 4. I met with. Brian Anatolia. -- in Miami on the fifth. To share with them. The essence of those findings. We left that meeting. -- if and understanding that they would think about. What they had heard. He engaged. May entice future representation. Which would be determined later in the week. In consultation as to how best respond. And keep the university fully informed of their intentions. And working can't circle -- -- us. -- and they were ready. To communicate the story. It was my understanding is my understanding. That they were on a timetable. To release the story themselves. Next week. When today's story broke. With that. I welcome the opportunity to take any questions. Check or review right -- It's the release that authorities are invesco other indeed. I thought -- -- you mention anyone else investigating to see if any criminal action was done here. I can't tell you what. -- ties representatives have done it in that regard. -- I know they intended to pursue his rights -- as it relates to the university. Our loan engagement or referral most of the private firm to do -- -- to report force. If you use these talks a little use what you talked remote but can you say what you've seen or what -- -- you saw that would -- Somebody blew it in office who don't know the whole story gonna question whether -- Was behind hopes to what have you seen that would that would that would prove that that it could not be the truth. Well there's several things. One is I would refer all of you if you're not already familiar with it. With both the documentary called catfish. The MTV show which is a derivative of that document documentary. And the sort of associated things you'll find on line and otherwise about catfish or catfish. It is. A scam. Probably revealing my television watching habits but was covered by Dr. Phil extensively recently. That follows the exact arc of this. Com and it's perpetrated -- shocking. Frequency for me shocking as an older guy who's not. Not -- first in the online world but and it is it is just as this -- an initial casual engagement. A developing. Relationship. On line. A subsequent trauma. Traffic accident illness. And then a death. Home and you know as hard as it is for me to to get my arms around this there's apparently some sport in doing this and being able to do it successfully. So that was one that we sort of found its external. On guidebook if you will or or platform for doing this. Two -- the internal. -- -- -- -- -- -- Ask questions. -- wanted to make sure it all lined up with what we knew independently the facts as we understood them. We're very comfortable with the consistency in how it all fit together. Thirdly our investigators. On through their work. We were able to discover. Online chatter among the perpetrators. That. Was sort of the ultimate proof of this the joy they were taking the serve. Casual nests with which among themselves. On they were they were referring to what they'd accomplished -- what they've done. Has have been away if you guys for human in the people you've been -- with to just comprehend but -- is all about -- and it's bizarre. Well as a parent of four children it's been a really frightening experience. You know. For people my age this is unfathomable. Versions of this in different forms we would understand but. But the sort of online social media virtual nature of this is hard for us -- for me I should speak for myself to get my arms around. We know for example that these perpetrators. Didn't limit themselves to -- -- to target. And so. My first reaction frankly was as a father. You know the the way in which young people. Our students -- student athletes my children. Are at risk in this environment. To things like this because. You just don't know who you're dealing. You said this is an online relationship. Yet mend -- talked about speaking with a person. He thought -- -- me. -- a person in effect take her position. And talked of -- as if she were his girlfriend. -- and thanks for correcting at a -- it online and telephonic. There were lengthy long. Telephone conversations. There was sleeping with the phone on connected to each other. -- -- all of those all all of those things. You know. The issue of who it is who's playing what role. What's real and what's not here is a more complex question -- Nine get into. More you mention that the perpetrators. Net that was nearly when he targeted that other people Notre Dame or the other. And bigger scheme where I'm not aware of anyone else at Notre Dame -- And the of the debts they report. Said that meant I had a relationship with who they thought the perpetrators was that there was a cousin -- family friend. On the is that true -- note that played into the motive at all. -- That characterization does not square with my information. Well at all let -- -- -- address. And then last month for me. The day of the national championship game when you guess that knowledge of this. There was pregame special on and news morning show about his story did you guys know they're planning on doing that -- you do anything to try to. Talk them out of matter how did you handle that situation. Where did it there. I think it was -- CBS morning. And I'm not familiar with a so. I guess the quick answer -- since I didn't know and I we didn't we -- very conscious of the fact that we didn't know what we didn't know. And so -- You know we recognize the challenges of that. If if -- I got a question. In -- media session. -- about that how do you how do you respond to that we that. We recognize the challenge of that and we we weighed those difficulties. Against. The on the other hand these other issues that affected timing. I'll save one thing that with a win the investigation concluded it when we got the first report from the investigators. The one thing we're certain of was that this was coming out. There's too much online chatter about it. Was there is there was not an intention -- -- anything that this would be a story that didn't get told it was it was clear what. We had -- the first person to tell it would be -- -- and again. The expectation was that was gonna happen next week and he. He didn't get that opportunity without someone else having told the story but you'll at least have an opportunity to talk about it in the future -- Did he explain bill why he waited two and half three weeks -- the coaches after he had suspicions or got a phone call. He wanted to talk to his parents and he won't talk to them person he went home for Christmas break. And that's -- side that's been. That's the son he is he wanted to have that conversation -- parents face to face he wanted to consult with them. He wanted to get their advice and it was on the basis of that conversation. After after having concluded that he call us. Object in interceding other communication following Internet -- you -- award show. From the people and Maryland and yes it -- -- and they continue to be persistent. It wasn't there wasn't a single. Contact and -- and went to -- -- I don't I'm sorry I don't I don't know -- accurately hit it dissipated in time. In part because he wasn't responding. But I don't know -- humans. And -- question for me does the -- family Notre -- intend to publish any part of the report's findings in the future we do not. -- He missed that part is being persistent with -- timing -- -- did you gets some more insight into what their motives war and what what did you discover through that continued contact -- through -- they were. They know everything here had a story. You know it wasn't -- it was. There was there was there was another story to explain what had happened and to restart the relationship. -- and -- payment details of that meant I can -- but. You know the next phase of the hoax was played out here is why we. Did what we did -- Here we're here we are back. -- still in character. So it to be clear when they tried to restart the relationship after -- -- admitted that -- in effect now. When you talk about online chatter that your investigators. Discovered. What did you discover about the motive at that point is is that you mentioned sport was that it was or any other motive that that came to light of all the comes through it -- it is a sort of casual cruelty. You know they're enjoying the joke. There. It's sort of -- use these shockingly. Casual comments about. What they were doing and how they were doing. And it in your investigation internally. Did you find that -- may have had contact with any other members of the team. Did you speak to the members of the team about. You know what they were called about those conversations. Or is it strictly you only talk commence Ment Ment -- side. Just make trainers exactly he was an awful were chosen as one in Orlando at the skin -- -- yes. The investigators v.s Notre Dame investigators -- no it would invest now they're private -- are there independent private investigators. Who have -- read a special expertise in this sort of thing right experience are tracking. -- online. Activity. And and so while I'm not gonna identify the companies to lose the national company independent. -- -- -- It's clear effort -- did teen -- at any point until due to players just finding out now today like everyone else yes I mean. The two coaches do. I knew. And -- -- had taken a couple of teammates. Into his confidence. People tells which -- he talked to. -- -- -- -- For those -- you don't follow sets. Defense -- coordinator and head coach. Beyond her a trader at the FEMA employees that you -- you know that they would sleep but the -- -- -- there up to thirty or whatnot. Do we know where she is -- I'm assuming investigators have had to make contact as an apology. Forthcoming in the future will we ever hear from her the -- provided the voice. I don't I don't know the answers to that mean -- you you you wind up with a with on line footprints. In this case and an -- and at that point we didn't. Once we were satisfied we understood the dimensions of business. We. Shared information with potatoes and left to them -- and and the people they'll be working with to decide what next steps to take. And just lastly. What's the university's response to say you know that's when he some year old fans that are that had to have experience -- -- that say if you actually never met her in person it seems slightly deceiving on his part to bring such attention to it. Then you don't know -- side. Here's my answer. -- our lives his life on his sleeve -- he is he is out there and as I said earlier. And I don't think this was an accident. They understood given the nature. Pretty extraordinary nature of this man the more trouble she was in. Car accident diagnosis of leukemia failing health. The more engaged he would become the more. The more focused he would become and the more dedicated he would become and that's exactly what happened here. And you know. For those who were suspicious that that can happen. In sort of a virtual. Environment I think there are a lot of examples out there that suggests otherwise I mean this documentary chronicles one of them. Hum but as we've gotten into this side then. Surprise to learn the frequency with which they did exist and the cautionary tale it affords these to those same young people. You know the people who will be least skeptical of this -- the people. Who live their life and social media as an important component of it. -- skepticism probably increases with age because it's harder for. For those of us who are fully engaged in that medium to sort of understand how -- can be. Used to this effect. -- what. Did you guys advisement had to say had he gotten a question directly after. About -- and only got one question but it was kind of within the context another question is able to avoid it but what did you guys have -- You know we we encourage them to try and focus forward and focus on the game and not. Not not. Draw attention backward to -- and so that was it was that simple and very very complex. Problem began we understood the challenge of that but it. We were weighing. Those competing interest in a man in a way that we felt was the right balance. It's -- -- more and do you think this affected his play that night. I don't -- say that. I will only tell you. -- -- That. Starting with my interaction on the 27 and continuing today. It's in fact it's -- it's impacted man -- person. Significantly and. There's a lot of tragedy here. There's a lot of sorrow here. But the thing I am most sad. Sad about. Is. -- That the single most trusting human being I've ever met. We'll never be able to trust in the same way again in his life. That's an incredible tragedy.
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