College football is fantastic. College football also has the propensity to get very weird and, on Tuesday, news broke that would qualify as unparalleled.
In mid-November, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons were throttled by the Louisville Cardinals by a final score of 44-12 and, in the aftermath of that game, Wake head coach Dave Clawson wasn’t terribly happy. In addition to probably being disappointed in his team, Clawson posited that there was a possibility that Louisville gained access to his team’s game plan at some point prior to the game and that, of course, would not be an ideal situation.
Since that point, the controversy (or what was left of it) largely vanished from the popular consciousness, but Tuesday’s revelation from the Wake Forest athletic department placed it firmly in the minds of football fans across the country. In short, a former Wake Forest assistant coach named Tommy Elrod, who also happens to be the team’s current (now former) radio color analyst, apparently leaked information for years, with the inclusion of the 2016 game against Louisville.
Here is the full release from the university:
“Following the Louisville football game on November 12, Wake Forest conducted a thorough investigation to determine if confidential and proprietary game preparation information had been compromised. The investigation was not limited to the situation with Louisville and was comprehensive in nature. The investigation determined the following:
- Based on emails, text messages and phone records, Tommy Elrod, a radio announcer for Wake Forest football games, provided or attempted to provide confidential and proprietary game preparations on multiple occasions, starting in 2014.
- No members of the Wake Forest athletic department, football staff or players were involved in any way in these actions.
Tommy Elrod is an alumnus of Wake Forest and was a member of the football team from 1993-1997. He later was hired as a graduate assistant under Jim Grobe and held multiple positions for 11 seasons. He was not retained by Dave Clawson and joined the Wake Forest IMG Radio Network in 2014 as a football analyst covering Wake Forest football. Elrod has been terminated immediately from his position at IMG and will no longer broadcast Wake Forest football games. He has been banned from Wake Forest athletics and its facilities.
Wake Forest has notified all the appropriate entities related to these activities, and has taken steps to enhance security of game preparation activities. The University is satisfied with the actions taken and will have no further comment on the details of its investigation at this time.”
This should be considered a developing story but, for now, it qualifies as one of the crazier sports stories in recent memory and it could have far-reaching implications for both the Wake Forest program and any other program linked to the allegations from the opposite side.