FactCheck.org, a nonprofit, nonpartisan web site that monitors popular news items, also debunked the eMail about Robinson. A $17.8 million stimulus grant was awarded to Oregon State in September 2009, more than two months before the start of the men’s basketball season, according to a March 22 FactCheck post.

“We figured that people would recognize this latest chain eMail for the hoax that it is,” the site said. “But judging from the number of times we’ve been asked about this since the beginning of March, we were wrong. The author of this bogus e-rumor must be suffering from a different kind of ‘March Madness’ than that which is currently sweeping the rest of the nation.

“Either the Obama administration figured the [OSU] men’s [basketball] team would struggle early … or this eMail is just flat out wrong,” the post said in jest. “We’ve been in this game too long to believe the former.”

Another viral internet rumor recently began when a Georgetown University law professor told students that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts would announce his resignation by the end of the day, according to the legal blog, Above the Law.

The law students texted and eMailed friends and family, and within minutes, gossip site RadarOnline.com trumpeted a headline about Roberts leaving the land’s highest court. Popular sites like DrudgeReport and Huffington Post followed suit, and Supreme Court spokespeople had to deny the rumor that started in a campus lecture hall.


Oregon State University statement

About.com’s Urban Legends blog

Add your opinion to the discussion.