I still don't believe Te'o was an unknowing, innocent victim -- not as late as December, anyway. Here's what I wrote Wednesday night, after Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick emotionally defended Te'o. I made it clear I didn't believe the Notre Dame version, but I never came out and said exactly what version I did believe.
So here's what I think. And it's pretty much what I've always thought -- before Te'o spoke to ESPN, and now that he has.
I think Te'o fell for a woman he met online, a woman he knew as Lennay Kekua. I think when this whole thing began three years ago, he was the gullible victim of a cruel hoax.
I think Te'o figured it out well before December. That's not what he told Swarbrick, but I don't feel badly about calling Te'o a liar; we already know he invented parts of this story. He admitted that Friday night to ESPN, though he used the word "tailored" instead of "invented." Whatever he called it, at some point he started telling lies about Lennay Kekua. The question is: When did the lies start?