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Creator of phony story works in Texas' IT department
OU Internet hoax: UT determines Conradt didn't use company computer to create fake article

By Jake Trotter Modified: July 11, 2008 at 12:32 am •  Published: July 11, 2008
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There's a reason why James W. Conradt was able to lift a template off The Oklahoman's Web site, NewsOK.com, to create a phony story about Oklahoma quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Landry Jones.

The Nebraska football fan living in Austin, Texas, is a computing services manager in the information technology department at the University of Texas.

Wednesday, the 36-year-old Conradt wrote a bogus article about Bradford and Jones being arrested on cocaine distribution charges, then posted it on a message board. At least two Texas radio stations initially reported the fake incident as fact as the hoax spread across the Internet.

Both Kevin Jones, Landry's father, and David Thompson, publisher of The Oklahoman, are considering legal action.

Following an investigation, University of Texas officials concluded Thursday that Conradt didn't use a company computer or company time to create the article.

In 2005, Conradt, known on the Web by his screen name "DarthHusker,” was featured in an article by the Lincoln Journal Star about the rising impact of message boards and their potential danger.

"I think anonymity brings out the worst in people. There are no consequences for saying what you say,” Conradt told the Star then. "New people come along all the time and are naive and believe too much of what they read.

"A lot of people just post stuff to stir the pot.”