And the plot thickens.
An utterly bizarre story in the college football world unfolded Tuesday evening, with Wake Forest announcing that an internal investigation had revealed that Tommy Elrod, a radio announcer for Demon Deacon football games, had, starting in 2014, provided and passed along proprietary and confidential information to Wake opponents. Elrod had played for Wake and then was associated with the football program for the next 11 seasons but wasn’t retained by head coach Dave Clawson in 2014, moving on to the IMG radio network and the broadcast of his alma mater’s football games.
A month ago, it was reported that Wake was investigating how documents pertaining to its gameplan for the Louisville wound up at Papa John’s Stadium, discovered by a member of Wake’s traveling party prior to the game. As it turns out, Elrod and U of L offensive coordinator Lonnie Galloway have known each other for nearly a decade and spoke prior to the Wake game. How do we know this? Because, in a statement that will do nothing but add fire to the burgeoning controversy, U of L athletic director Tom Jurich acknowledged that the two coaches had spoken the week of the game and Elrod shared information with the Cardinals assistant.
And, based on the tone of Jurich’s statement, he finds absolutely nothing wrong with that fact or the fact that his football staff failed to notify their counterparts at Wake — or their own bosses or the ACC or anyone — that their football program had sprung a leak.
Our offensive coordinator Lonnie Galloway and Tommy Elrod have known each other since 2007. Lonnie received a call from Elrod during the week of the Wake Forest game, and some information was shared with him that week.
“Among the communication were a few plays that were sent and then shared with our defensive staff. None of the special plays were run during the course of the game. Our defense regularly prepares for similar formations every week in their normal game plan.
“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. I’m disappointed that this issue has brought undue attention to our football staff as we prepare for our upcoming bowl game.
As to Jurich’s contention that some of the communication involved “a few plays that were sent and then shared with our defensive staff.” One, the fact that he seemingly glosses over and dismisses such a major breach is baffling and staggering. Secondly, the very reason “none of the special plays were run during the course of the game” was because a member of the Wake advanced team had found the plays diagrammed on sheets of paper after they were discarded by U of L personnel, forcing Wake to scrap them and launch the investigation to begin with.
And Jurich’s statement also appears to contradict his own head coach’s public denials.
“I have no knowledge of the situation,” Bobby Petrino said in November. “We take a lot of pride in the way we operate our program. As I’ve stated already this season, my coaching philosophy has always been to play the game with sportsmanship.”
Insider info is seemingly OK to the leadership at the U of L. At this point, with that type of attitude, it’s time for the ACC to get involved not only regarding Louisville but any other member institution that may have benefitted from the ill-gotten intel from the college football’s version of a Russian hacker — n failed to notify anyone of a breach.