The radio announcer for Wake Forest’s football games “provided or attempted to provide” details about the Demon Deacons’ upcoming game plans to opponents during the past three seasons, according to the findings of an internal investigation conducted by the university.
The investigation ensued following Wake Forest’s 44-12 loss to Louisville on Nov. 12, when staff members discovered materials left behind by Louisville indicated the Cardinals were prepared for plays the Demon Deacons had not run before, according to a USA TODAY Sports report.
The university’s release placed blame on Tommy Elrod, a former Wake Forest player, graduate assistant and full-time assistant coach who was fired, along with the entire coaching staff, following the 2013 season.
“Based on emails, text messages and phone records,” the university said in a statement, Elrod “provided or attempted to provide confidential and proprietary game preparation on multiple occasions” beginning in 2014, when Elrod was hired as an analyst on the Wake Forest IMG Radio Network.
“No members of the Wake Forest athletic department, football staff or players were involved in any way in these actions,” the university said.
Elrod has been fired by the radio network and banned from Wake Forest’s athletic department and facilities.
It’s a story so crazy it could only happen in the sport of college football, which tends to lean toward the ridiculous: The home-team radio announcer, a coach fired and replaced by the current staff, leaking confidential information to the school’s opponents.
“I am extremely disappointed that our confidential and proprietary game preparation was compromised,” said Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson, who was hired in 2014. “It’s incomprehensible that a former Wake Forest student-athlete, graduate-assistant, full-time football coach, and current radio analyst for the school, would betray his alma mater.
“We allowed him to have full access to our players, team functions, film room, and practices. He violated our trust which negatively impacted our entire program. I am glad we have taken steps to ensure it will not happen in the future.”
Said athletics director Ron Wellman:
“I have known Tommy Elrod since his days as a player on our football team. I’m deeply disappointed that he would act against Wake Forest, our football team and our fans in such a harmful manner by compromising confidential game preparation information.
“It is a relief that the team can move forward without his actions further undermining the positive strides Dave Clawson, his staff and the team have made.”