Publisher, sportswriter file suit in fake story about Oklahoma quarterbacks

By Randy Ellis Modified: July 15, 2008 at 2:49 pm •  Published: July 15, 2008
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/> Conradt, 36, is a Nebraska fan who works as a computing services manager in the information technology department at the University of Texas. He could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

Last week, Conradt admitted to Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel in a telephone interview that Conradt was responsible for the hoax. He said he wasn't thinking.

"I want to express my deepest apologies to the families,” Conradt said last Wednesday. "I didn't want to hurt anyone.”

The lawsuit claims Conradt was "well aware of the dangers that can be caused by posting harmful attacks anonymously on the Internet.”

It points to a Jan. 10, 2005 article in the Lincoln Journal Star, a Nebraska newspaper, in which Conradt was quoted discussing how easily people can post untrue rumors on Internet message boards.

"I think anonymity brings out the worst in people,” Conradt was quoted as saying. "There are no consequences for saying what you say. I think that's probably where the whole concept of flaming comes from. They probably didn't have that in the old days around the coffee pot at work, the profanity-laced, ultra-negative outbursts.”

Read the complaint and key exhibits

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James Conradt reads from the message boards at BigRedReport.com with his cat George in Lincoln, Neb., in this December 6, 2004 file photo - AP Photo/ Elizabeth Ortega/the Lincoln Journal Star

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