Story Rights to Purdue Basketball Hoax For Sale

Status: True. Make an offer!
Back in December 2003 media outlets including ESPN and the San Diego Union Tribune ran a story about Purdue signing the wrong Jason Smith to a basketball scholarship. Due to a paperwork mix-up, Purdue had apparently given the scholarship to 5'6" Jason Smith computer geek, instead of 6'6" Jason Smith point guard. (Both Smiths attended the same school.) The story, it turned out, wasn't true. It was the fictional work of Josh Whicker who had posted it on his website,, along with a warning that his site was an inaccurate news source. The media, in typical fashion, didn't heed this warning and reported the story as fact anyway.

Josh (who went on to pen some other brilliant hoaxes) got a lot of publicity out of the Purdue basketball hoax, but not any money. (And since he works as a school teacher, I'm sure he could use some money... Teachers are never paid enough.) Now, with some luck, that may change. He writes on his site today:

Over the past couple of years I have been contacted now and then by writers in Hollywood interested in possibly buying the rights to the story but received no serious interest until today when I received both good and bad news. The good news is a production company made me an offer for the story rights; the bad news is the sum they are offering is quite a bit lower than I expected--after paying an agent and taxes the initial sum for the option rights wouldn't even cover my costs to play semi-pro football this summer. Now, I am not a greedy person, but know this story would make one helluva movie (well, at least better than Snakes on a Plane) in the right hands and is worth more than I have been offered. If anyone out there is interested in the rights, make me an offer and maybe we can work something out.

So if there are any Hollywood types out there reading this, this is your chance to make an offer. (Though I have to add, what's up with the comment about Snakes on a Plane, Josh? I'm looking forward to seeing that!) 😉

Entertainment Sports

Posted on Tue Apr 04, 2006


Snakes on A Plane is a new movie coming out ... Samuel L Jackson I believe.

Story involves an Assasin that tries to kill his target by releasing venemous snakes onto an airplane.

Sounds REALLY Bad

you can look it up on IMDB... its real.... :(
Posted by Emidawg  on  Wed Apr 05, 2006  at  03:18 AM
Oh, I know what Snakes on a Plane is. I've posted about it before. And I really am looking forward to it. For some reason I like really bad action and sci-fi movies. You can just put your brain in neutral and sit there and enjoy them.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Apr 05, 2006  at  08:32 AM
Yeah! Josh needs to lay off of Snakes on a Plane! It is the most highly anticipated movie event of the year (and possibly of the decade). I'm going to see it on opening day (8/18/2006).
Posted by BugbearSloth  on  Wed Apr 05, 2006  at  09:27 AM
Does someone really need to buy it? Can't they just change the names and keep the story? I didn't think stories were copyrightable, only the specific expression of a story. Go into any Barnes & Noble and see all the "young wizard goes to wizard school" books.
Posted by Doug Nelson  on  Wed Apr 05, 2006  at  01:07 PM
Go into any Barnes and Noble and see all the books related to these topics: Holy Grail, Mary Magdelene, cover-ups by the church, ancient books with hidden codes, secret/lost artwork, and other conspiracy theories galore. GAG ME! Few of them are even interesting. Many of them dont make sense. I know, I work in a Barnes and Noble.
(Then again, there was a lawsuit directed towards Dan Brown. I think the people suing him were right; he copied their ideas)
Posted by chyca  on  Thu Apr 06, 2006  at  05:35 PM
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