The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 9, 2008

OU quarterbacks targets of Internet hoax

Transcript Staff

The father of Oklahoma freshman quarterback Landry Jones says he plans legal action against a Nebraska football fan who allegedly posted a bogus story on an Internet message board claiming that two Sooner quarterbacks had been arrested on cocaine distribution charges.

James W. Conradt, a Nebraska football fan living in Austin, Texas, said he did not mean to hurt Oklahoma quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Landry Jones with his Internet hoax, according to a story posted on The Oklahoman’s Web site late Wednesday.

“I want to express my deepest apologies to the families,” Conradt said Wednesday night after his story was reported as fact by at least two Texas radio stations. “That’s the thing I’m regretful about. I didn’t want to hurt anyone.”

Landry’s father, Kevin Jones, indicated that Conradt’s apology may not be enough.

“I’m going to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law,” Jones said. “I’ve got deep enough pockets to do it.”

Conradt allegedly lifted a template off The Oklahoman’s Web site wrote and pasted a bogus story about the pair’s arrest and then posted it on a message board.

“When this was brought to our attention, we took immediate action,” Oklahoman publisher David Thompson said. “Through our technology and news teams, we tracked him down and told him to cease and desist. We take this very seriously and will consider legal action.”

OU associate athletic director Kenny Mossman said the hoax is just the latest in a disturbing trend.

“We feel it’s real unfortunate how many things have germinated from an anonymous starting point that are unfounded, untrue and, as this story proves, hurtful,” Mossman said. “The Internet has enabled a lot of this kind of thing to happen, and it’s really disappointing.”

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