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January 24th, 2013
06:57 AM ET

Notre Dame football player Manti Te'o speaks out on girlfriend hoax – George Howell reports


(CNN) - Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te'o has again admitted to lying, marking at least the second time he has acknowledged knowingly spreading falsities in the saga of his fake dead girlfriend.

In an interview with ABC News' Katie Couric set to air Thursday evening, the Heisman Trophy runner-up says he fibbed to the media - albeit briefly - after learning that the death of supposed girlfriend Lennay Kekua was a hoax.

Te'o said he believed Kekua, whom he thought was his girlfriend despite never meeting her face to face, had died of leukemia on September 12 after a car accident left her hospitalized. But he received a call December 6 from the woman he thought was Kekua, and she said she was alive, he has said.

Te'o told ABC he felt he had no choice but to continue the ruse.

Today on "Early Start," CNN's George Howell reports on the latest in the Manti Te'o story.

READ MORE: In ABC interview, Te'o admits, again, to lying about fake girlfriend

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Filed under: Football • Sports
January 18th, 2013
06:54 AM ET

CNN Trends: Te'oing is the new Tebowing

Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax has inspires a new meme: Photos of people posing with an arm around an invisible girlfriend explodes on the web.

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Filed under: College • Football • Meme • Sports • Trending
January 9th, 2013
06:35 AM ET

CNN Trends: Miracle 3-pointer shot by high school girls hoops player

John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin tell you what’s trending on the web this morning, and it’s all in the realm of sports. On today’s list is the basketball shot of the year—happening on the girl's high school court in Lafayette, Indiana.

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Filed under: Basketball • Football • Sports • Trending
December 3rd, 2012
07:58 AM ET

Notre Dame vs. Alabama for Jan. 7 BCS National Championship game; CNN’s Ted Rowlands and Joe Carter report the buzz on campus

College football fans are psyched for the BCS championship face off between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Alabama Crimson Tide. The game was settled on Saturday, and students are back on campus today. What is the buzz on the two college campuses as we get ready for the BCS National Championship showdown on January 7?

Well, the Fighting Irish, the top-ranked team in the nation, is looking for its first national championship since 1988. The Crimson Tide is trying to become the first team ever to win back-to-back BCS titles. It's a classic matchup between two of the country's most popular and successful programs. CNN’s Ted Rowlands has more live from South Bend, Indiana and CNN’s Joe Carter joins us live from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

“Here at Notre Dame, it’s all about tradition and it’s all about winning," Rowlands says. For a school that hasn't won a national championship in the last 24 years, “people around the country that are Notre Dame supporters and students here at South Bend are very excited.”

On the other end, Carter says fans are confident Alabama will win the 2012 championship.  "They say that Alabama football and college football is more than just a sport, it’s a way of life and it's a culture,” Carter reports.

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Filed under: Football
October 11th, 2012
09:15 AM ET

'It was an exciting moment’ – New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees talks record-breaking touchdown, partnership to fight childhood obesity

Drew Brees is officially a household name. The New Orleans Saints quarterback broke a 52-year-old record by Johnny Unitas on Sunday when he threw a touchdown pass in his 48th straight game. That record breaking football is now on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Brees joins John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin on “Early Start” this morning live from New Orleans to talk about his big moment on the field. He also shares his experience working with the “Play 60” program, which encourages kid to get out and play in an effort to reduce childhood obesity.

Brees recounts the defining moment of Sunday’s game. “Honestly, things happen so fast in the course of the game, you don’t even have time to think, you just react,” he says.

Brees says it was a play the team had discussed all week long as a guaranteed touchdown if called in the right situation. “As soon as it left my hand, I knew, I knew we’d scored,” he says.

Brees humbly says he isn’t sure the significance of the touchdown has sunk in yet. “Obviously, it was an exciting moment on Sunday to be a part of that, and then obviously to win the game on Sunday night football in the Superdome,” he says. “Just to have been a part of this run and to eclipse the record the way that we did on Sunday was an incredible feeling.”

Brees then describes his work with the Play 60 program, in which the NFL has partnered up with Kinect for Xbox360 for the “60 Million Minutes Challenge.”

“The goal is to recruit 1 million kids to pledge to get active for 60 minutes a day, thus providing 60 million minutes of active play per day, to fight childhood obesity.” Participants can win a social autograph by Brees or other NFL players on their Facebook walks to show family and friends. “It’s an unbelievable program,” he says.

For more information on the challenge, visit the 60 Million Minutes Challenge page.