The fallout from “Wakeyleaks” continued Friday with the suspension of a Louisville assistant coach.
Louisville suspended assistant coach Lonnie Galloway for the Citrus Bowl because of his role in the incident on Friday.
Also on Friday, Indiana issued a statement saying it was not involved in the scheme blamed on Tommy Elrod, a former Wake Forest assistant coach and radio analyst, to help Wake Forest opponents over a three-year period starting in 2014.
In an interview with ESPN radio early on Friday, Wake Forest football coach Dave Clawson described the incident as a “Wake Forest problem” but Louisville, Army and Virginia Tech are the three other schools that were involved in one of the most bizarre cases of trade secrets and football espionage in ACC history.
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Officials from each of the other 13 schools on Wake Forest’s schedule in the 2014, ’15 and ’16 seasons have confirmed to The News & Observer they are not involved in the incident.
Former Wake Forest assistant Brian Knorr worked at Indiana when the Deacs and Hoosiers met in 2015 but Indiana did its own investigation into the matter this week.
Clawson and said nothing the school has done with its investigation and subsequent findings was about passing blame to other teams.
“Our goal was not to get other people in trouble,” Clawson said on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” on Friday. “Our goal was to find out what was happening to prevent it from happening in the future. We did that and we addressed it and now we have to move forward.”
For the first time, Clawson went into detail during the ESPN interview in how the incident with the catchy social media hashtag started. Clawson said members of the team’s equipment staff found note cards with information about specific Wake Forest plays on the sidelines at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on the Friday before the Nov. 12 game in Louisville.
The next day, the equipment manager gave offensive coordinator Warren Ruggiero the cards, Clawson said.
“There was very, very detailed information there,” Clawson said. “Formations that we had never run.”
Once Clawson figured out what was going on, he said he didn’t use any of those plays or personnel sets in the Louisville game, which Wake Forest led 12-3 at the end of the third quarter.
“Louisville is an excellent football team,” Clawson said. “It was a game that we felt in order to score points, we had to put some wrinkles in and all of those wrinkles were right in front of us. At that point, we knew we had been compromised.”
Clawson said he had never seen this type of betrayal nor did he suspect it from Elrod, whom he described as a “double Deac” since Elrod has both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the private Baptist school in Winston-Salem.
“(He) could not have been any more professional,” Clawson said.
A former walk-on quarterback at Wake Forest from 1993 to ’97, Elrod spent 11 seasons as an assistant to Jim Grobe at Wake Forest from 2003 until 2013. When Grobe was replaced by Clawson after the ’13 season, Elrod was not retained as assistant.
Elrod worked with Galloway and former Army assistant Ray McCartney while he was an assistant for Grobe at Wake Forest. There is no direct connection between Elrod and Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech said a former assistant coach received information from Elrod before their game in November 2014 but did not identify the assistant. Louisville confirmed Galloway received information before this year’s game.
There were two games between Wake and Army when McCartney was an assistant, in 2014 and ’15. McCartney, who now coaches at Davidson, was not at Army this season when the Black Knights beat Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. Army has not gone into detail about what information it received from Elrod. Efforts to reach Army athletic director Boo Corrigan were unsuccessful.
Clawson did not speculate about Elrod’s motivation, but if there’s any potential connection to gambling or fixing games, Elrod’s information didn’t translate into a win for Wake Forest’s opponents.
In the four most likely “Wakeyleaks” games, Wake Forest had a 3-1 record. By comparison, in the other 32 games under Clawson, Wake Forest has a 9-23 record.
Efforts to reach Elrod or his Winston-Salem attorney have been unsuccessful.
Clawson said the program’s progress, making a bowl for the first time since 2011 and after going 3-9 in each of the previous two seasons, should be the focus as the team prepares for the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 in Annapolis, Md.
Instead, Wakeyleaks has filled a vacuum in a dead period on the college football calendar.
“The shame of it is this now becomes the story when I wish the story was the improvement of our football team and getting to a bowl game,” Clawson said.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio