doesn't it? It's the scenario that makes the most senes at this point. She was one of probably several flirtations Te'o had, some in-person, some cyber. Given Tuiasosopo's apparent religious background he (playing Lenaay) and Manti probably had a ton of "God is great" talks, and bonded over that. He probably considered her a confidant and good friend and someone he'd love to eventually explore something more with if they could get their schedules to work and, you know, she doesn't DIE. Then, low and behold, she dies. Now, this upsets him, maybe he plays it up, word gets out, he likes the attention, he "tweaks" a few facts here and there to make it more compelling and less embarrasing (it was only an online relationship after all), then ND makes a run at the national championship and his harmless story has taken on a life of its own. He's convinced it'll die down until it turns out the whole thing was a hoax and some reporters from deadspin are poking around. OH CRAP. Someone got more than they bargained for.
that's unfortunate, but at least the interest is there on both sides