Army contacted by Wake Forest in investigation of leaked game plans
Army athletic director Boo Corrigan said Wednesday night that Wake Forest officials reached out to the school in connection to the potential leaking of confidential game plans. “We were contacted by Wake Forest,” Corrigan said in a phone interview with Sports Illustrated. “We’re looking into it.”
On Tuesday evening, Wake Forest released the initial findings of a month-long internal investigation after confidential documents related to game preparation were found in Louisville’s stadium following the Cardinals' 44–12 victory over the Demon Deacons on Nov. 12. In a statement, Wake Forest said that radio analyst Tommy Elrod, who has since been dismissed, provided opposing teams “confidential and proprietary game preparations on multiple occasions” beginning in 2014. Elrod was a Wake Forest player from 1993–97 and joined the coaching staff after graduation, eventually becoming quarterbacks coach and co-passing game coordinator. He was not retained after the 2013 season, when Wake Forest hired Dave Clawson as head coach.
Wake Forest has played Army in each of the last three seasons. Army beat Wake Forest, 21–13, in Winston Salem, N.C., on Oct. 29 this season. Wake won the other two meetings, 17–14 in 2015 and 24–21 in 2014. Corrigan declined to elaborate any further: “We were notified by Wake Forest,” Corrigan said. “Just looking into it. That this was going on.”
Corrigan’s acknowledgement that Army is one of the schools contacted by Wake Forest makes it the second school to emerge publicly in the scandal. Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich admitted in a statement Wednesday afternoon that Louisville received information from Elrod through a Cardinal assistant coach, Lonnie Galloway, who had previously worked at Wake Forest with Elrod. Jurich downplayed the importance of it, saying it was a “few plays” and claiming that Wake Forest didn’t use them in the game against the Cardinals. On Wednesday, a Louisville spokesperson said coach Bobby Petrino wouldn’t comment “on what appears to be a Wake Forest issue.”
Army is coming off its biggest win in more than a decade, as it snapped a 14-game losing streak to Navy with a 21–17 victory on Saturday. The Black Knights (7–5) will play North Texas in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl on Dec. 27. Army’s potential involvement in the leaked game plan scandal could cloud what’s been the brightest season at the school in well over a decade.
The news of the Wake Forest leaks rippled through the ACC and the college football world Wednesday. The ACC released a statement that the league “will perform its due diligence, and as necessary, additional discussions and actions will occur.” Multiple schools around the ACC announced that Wake Forest had not reached out them. The Raleigh News and Observer reported that North Carolina and North Carolina State did not hear from Wake Forest. The Syracuse Post-Standard reported that Syracuse University had not heard from Wake Forest either. The Greenville News also reported that Clemson had not been contacted.
“We have notified all the schools identified in our investigation,” Steve Shutt, a Wake Forest spokesman said. “We are committed to working with those schools and the ACC in this matter.”