Was Georgia Tech sophomore's 'epic welcome speech' to incoming freshmen plagiarized?

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
Yahoo News

Selby's 2013 speech (YouTube)

Was that "epic welcome speech" by Georgia Tech sophomore Nick Selby to incoming freshmen plagiarized? That's what some Internet users are wondering, after a video showing a similar 2008 speech by an Arizona State University student — Selby's former high school debate coach — surfaced.

Earlier this week, a video showing Selby's over-the-top oratory to Georgia Tech's Class of 2016 went viral with the help of media outlets, including CNN, Yahoo News and Gawker.

Reddit users noted similarities between Selby's speech and the one delivered by Arizona State's Andy Stone, a former assistant debate coach at Desert Vista High School, where Selby was a student.

Both speeches were punctuated by wild, climactic rants, each backed by the theme music to "2001: A Space Odyssey."

"Did Selby straight-up rip off a speech given by his former debate coach, and pass it off as his own?" Gawker's Neetzan Zimmerman asked. "It would seem so."

But in a Facebook post, Selby explained that he was simply inspired by Stone, and even got his permission to use part of the speech in the Georgia Tech convocation.

"I had an awesome speech coach in high school by the name of Andy Stone," Selby wrote, "and was absolutely thrilled when he agreed to let me use the end of his award-winning speech as the foundation for my own."

Stone's 2008 speech (YouTube)

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