Louisville AD: Ex-Wake Analyst Shared Plays With Assistant
Audio for this story provided by WFPL's Rick Howlett.
Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich confirmed that a former Wake Forest assistant coach-turned-broadcaster did share "a few plays" with a Cardinals assistant before the teams played last month.
A spokesman at Army also said Wednesday night that officials at the academy were contacted as part of Wake Forest's internal investigation into potential leaks of its game plans.
The Louisville AD said earlier Wednesday that offensive coordinator Lonnie Galloway received a call from Demon Deacons radio analyst and former assistant Tommy Elrod before the game on Nov. 12. Galloway and Elrod were assistants to Jim Grobe at Wake Forest from 2011-12.
Jurich said Elrod passed along the plays that were then shared with the defensive staff, but "none of the special plays were run during the course of the game."
The Louisville AD said after looking "further into the matter" he learned of the phone call between Elrod and Galloway — who have known each other since 2007 — which came during the week leading up to the game.
"Any other information that may have been discussed was nothing that our staff had not already seen while studying Wake Forest in their preparations for the game and the material was not given any further attention," Jurich said. "I'm disappointed that this issue has brought undue attention to our football staff as we prepare for our upcoming bowl game."
The statement came a day after Wake Forest disclosed the findings of its nearly monthlong internal investigation into potential leaks when documents related to the team's game plan were found at Louisville's stadium.
Sean Beuter covers the Wake Forest program for WFDD radio at the university. He spoke with WFPL’s Rick Howlett about the investigation, which he says was first announced by Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson the week after the game. Listen to their conversation in the player above.
A 'Wake Forest Issue'?
Wake Forest officials say they have notified "all the appropriate entities related to these activities."
The Associated Press requested comment from officials at every school Wake Forest has played since 2014. By Wednesday night, Louisville and Army were the only schools to confirm they had been notified.
Louisville coach Bobby Petrino has said he had no knowledge of the situation, and team spokesman Rocco Gasparro said in a statement after the Louisville investigation was completed that Petrino had no comment "in what appears to be a Wake Forest issue."
Army spokesman Matt Faulkner said he had no further details. The Black Knights beat Wake Forest 21-13 in October after losing to the Demon Deacons in each of the previous two years.
Atlantic Coast Conference spokeswoman Amy Yakola said league officials are obtaining Wake Forest's findings, and that the ACC will "perform its due diligence" with the potential for further, unspecified actions.
Wake Forest's investigation absolved all current members of the athletic department, coaching staff and team, and instead placed the entirety of the blame on Elrod — a former player and assistant who moved into the broadcast booth when he was not retained by Dave Clawson following the 2013 season.
The school said it reviewed emails, text messages and phone records and determined Elrod either provided or attempted to provide "confidential and proprietary game preparations on multiple occasions" starting in 2014.
Elrod was fired from his job as an analyst on the Demon Deacons' IMG College radio broadcasts and was banned from the school's athletic facilities.
Elrod's attorney, James Quander — a defensive end at Wake Forest from 1991-94 — declined comment Wednesday. Elrod has not returned phone calls and text messages seeking comment.
The revelations sent shock waves throughout college football, and led former Wake Forest linebacker Brandon Chubb — who played for both Grobe and Clawson-coached teams from 2012-15 — to call it "sabotaged" and "insider trading."
"You've got coaches coming in, moving, trying to rebuild this program and make it a better place, and guys giving Wake Forest their all, and (you) figure out at the end of the day that you were kind of losing before you even stepped on the field," said Chubb, now on the Detroit Lions' practice squad. "For it to be one of our own ... makes it the saddest (thing), because Wake Forest is a real big family."
It's not publicly known which or how many games may have been affected, or what specific information was compromised.
Wake Forest finished 3-9 overall and 1-7 in ACC play in both 2014 and '15 before improving to 6-6 this season and earning a berth in the Military Bowl against Temple.
The Demon Deacons lost eight games by eight or fewer points over the past three seasons, including games this season against Army and Boston College (17-14). Their offense ranked 114th or worse nationally in each of the past three seasons, and in the 36 games in that span, their quarterbacks have been sacked 124 times — an average of 3.4 sacks per game.
The investigation began last month after a member of Wake Forest's travel party found the documents at Louisville's stadium before the game.
At the time, Clawson did not say specifically what was in those documents, did not accuse Louisville of taking the information and said, "I'm not going there" when asked on a teleconference whether it affected the outcome of the game. Wake Forest led 12-0 but went on to lose 44-12, and afterward Wake Forest alerted administrators at Louisville and the ACC to their discovery.