Wake Forest

Virginia Tech joins Louisville, Army in WakeyLeaks scandal

Breaking down the Wake Forest football scandal

NC State sportswriter Joe Giglio discusses the Demon Deacons firing of radio analyst Tommy Elrod, who attempted to leak football plays to opponents - including Louisville
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NC State sportswriter Joe Giglio discusses the Demon Deacons firing of radio analyst Tommy Elrod, who attempted to leak football plays to opponents - including Louisville

Virginia Tech joined Louisville and Army in the “WakeyLeaks” incident on Thursday, as one of the stranger cases to hit ACC football continues to unfold.

A former Virginia Tech assistant coach received information from former Wake Forest radio analyst Tommy Elrod before its game with the Demon Deacons in 2014, according to Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock.

Wake Forest revealed on Tuesday that Elrod, 41, a former player and assistant coach at the school, had “provided or attempted to provide confidential and proprietary game preparations on multiple occasions” during the 2014, ’15 and ’16 seasons.

Virginia Tech is the second ACC opponent involved and first without a direct connection to Elrod, who was an assistant coach for the Demon Deacons for 11 seasons from 2003 until 2013.

Louisville assistant Lonnie Galloway and former Army assistant Ray McCartney both worked with Elrod at Wake Forest. Louisville and Army confirmed on Wednesday that they had been involved in the information leak case.

Louisville beat Wake Forest 44-12 on Nov. 12. Wake Forest’s investigation into leaked information started after it found documents at Louisville’s stadium with game-plan information.

Wake Forest beat Army in 2014 and ’15 while McCartney was an assistant there.

Wake Forest said on Tuesday it had contacted all the parties involved in the case. Ten other schools on Wake Forest’s schedule, from 2014 through this season, confirmed on Thursday that they are not involved in the incident.

Officials from Louisiana-Monroe, Utah State, Florida State, Syracuse, Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Notre Dame, Tulane and Virginia said on Thursday they have not been in contact with Wake Forest and are not involved. Officials from North Carolina and N.C. State came out on Tuesday and clarified they were not involved. Duke has declined to comment on the case.

We hold ourselves to a higher standard at Virginia Tech. We are disappointed and embarrassed that this type of information was distributed to, and apparently received by one of our former assistant coaches.

Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock

The only school on Wake’s schedule from the past three years that has not responded to a request from The News & Observer is Indiana. Wake Forest played the Hoosiers in 2015 and ’16. Indiana had a former Wake Forest assistant, Brian Knorr, on its staff in 2015. Indiana beat Wake Forest last year in Winston-Salem.

Knorr is now a quality control assistant at Ohio State University. Efforts to reach Knorr, via Ohio State on Thursday, were unsuccessful.

Wake Forest’s 2014 meeting with Virginia Tech had been memorable for ending regulation in a 0-0 tie. The Demon Deacons ended up winning 6-3 in double overtime. That game is now part of the WakeyLeaks lore. Babcock said Elrod shared information with a former assistant no longer on the staff. He said that head coach Frank Beamer, who retired last year, and current defensive coordinator Bud Foster did not know about the breach.

Babcock apologized for the Hokies’ part in the incident.

“We hold ourselves to a higher standard at Virginia Tech,” Babcock said in a statement released by the school. “We are disappointed and embarrassed that this type of information was distributed to, and apparently received by one of our former assistant coaches.

“The distribution of this type of information among peers or rivals is wrong and not in the vein of sportsmanship and integrity that we demand and expect, and for this, I would like to take this opportunity to personally apologize to the coaches, student-athletes, administration, alumni, students and fans of Wake Forest University.”

The seven former Virginia Tech assistant coaches who are no longer with the program are Scot Loeffler, Shane Beamer, Stacy Searels, Bryan Stinespring, Aaron Moorehead, Torrian Gray and Cornell Brown.

Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio

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