The terrific site Blue Gray Sky has a must-read piece on how a bogus "tip" sent to the site Football Coach Scoop.com eventually makes its way to the mainstream media.
First, the "rumor" is sent to Scoop, which fails to do any fact-checking and runs the item almost verbatim.
The "rumor" then makes its way to "the Examiner", a blogging site that allows anyone with an email address to register as a "reporter."
A short time later, the Examiner report shows up on Google.
Not long after that, NBC Sports and ESPN run with the story. (Each later retracted it when made aware of the hoax.)
Jim Polzin, a reporter for Madison.com, tracked down Bielema and Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez in Honolulu, where the Badgers were preparing for Saturday night's game against Hawaii.
Both men, of course, had no idea what Polzin was talking about.
That's how easy it is to start a rumor and have it spread through the Internet.