By: Trey Walker
For Wake Forest, it has been a rollercoaster of events in the past couple of weeks. The Deacs have hit highs, when they finished the regular season 6-6 and became bowl eligible for the first time under Dave Clausen. On the flip side, they have been investigating an ongoing internal affair where a former player was caught slipping the playbook to opposing teams.
Who is the contact getting intel on the inside?
Tommy Elrod. This guy balled out for Wake in the late 90s, and went on to be a graduate assistant for Jim Grobe. After Grobe was let go, the Deacs brought in Dave Clausen from Bowling Green. Clausen opted not to retain Elrod on his coaching staff, but he still kept close ties with the program and became the IMG radio analyst for Wake football. Little did the Deacs know that Elrod would later turn on his alma mater and leak information that would jeopardize wins for the team.
The first clue of Elrod’s shenanigans occurred after the Deacs week 10 matchup with Louisville on the road. At the half, Wake had inched their way out to a 12-3 lead over the Cardinals. But Lamar Jackson finished the game with a strong second half to push Louisville forward to a 44-12 victory. Jackson’s performance may have not been the only thing that helped them win……
After the defeat, Louisville’s offensive coordinator, Lonnie Galloway, was found guilty of accepting “confidential and proprietary game preparations” from members of the Wake Forest football staff. Galloway and Elrod were graduate assistants under Jim Grobe from 2011-2012. Since then, Louisville has suspended their OC for their upcoming game against LSU in the Citrus Bowl.
Louisville was the first school to crack and admit their wrongdoings, but it seems that this will not be the last school to come out. Since then, Virginia Tech has admitted that they were offered, and accepted information from Elrod regarding special trick plays before the game. Sources say that Elrod may have been distributing pre-game plans as early as 2014. Just think about it……..
- Army has admitted that they were contacted by Wake Forest, but did not accept anything
- UNC/NCSU have not commented on the issue
So, what’s next?
To be quite honest, I don’t think anyone knows. Espionage on this level hasn’t happened before in college sports(or to our knowledge at least). The ACC has established strong disapproval to the schools who knowingly accepted stolen property. Stressing integrity in the conference, commissioner John Swofford issued both Louisville and Virginia Tech $25,000 fines.
Swofford’s Press Release:
“I am deeply disturbed something like this would occur, and regardless of the degree of involvement, the protection of the competitive integrity of our games is fundamental to any athletic contest,” Swofford said. “Sportsmanship and ethical values are at the core of competitive integrity and in these instances, those were missing. The expectation, regardless of the sport, is that any athletics department staff members would immediately communicate with their supervisor if they are approached by someone from another institution with proprietary information.”
So far, Wakeyleaks has been all over the place. With new information coming out constantly an end is not in the foreseeable future. Wake Forest has proven this year, after going 6-6 with a leaked playbook, that they truly are the ACC Juggernaut. Dave Clausen should win ACC Coach of the Year, unopposed, as he willed the Deacs to a bowl with most of his opponents knowing his strategy.