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Manti Te'o during the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game at Sun Life Stadium on January 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

(NEW YORK) — The star of Notre Dame’s championship football team has admitted that the widely-reported death of his girlfriend from leukemia during the 2012 football season was apparently a hoax, and said he was duped by it as well.

Manti Te’o, who led the Fighting Irish to the BCS championship game this year and finished second for the Heisman Trophy, said in a statement Wednesday that he fell in love with a girl online last year who turned out not to be real.

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