Georgia fines Shane Beamer $25K for role in Wake scandal
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Georgia has fined assistant coach Shane Beamer $25,000 for accepting leaked game plan information two years ago while at Virginia Tech from a former Wake Forest assistant coach.
In a statement issued by Georgia Thursday, Beamer said then-Wake Forest assistant Tommy Elrod called him the night before the game in 2014 with ''a few plays that he said Wake Forest might run.''
Beamer - the son of retired Hokies coach Frank Beamer - said he did not share the plays with anyone and didn't the information in the game, won 6-3 by the Demon Deacons in double overtime.
The younger Beamer said he ''made a serious mistake in judgment by accepting the information and failing to notify'' Virginia Tech officials.
Elrod, who was the Demon Deacons radio analyst, has been fired from his broadcast position.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart said the younger Beamer told him last week about his involvement in the scandal, and athletic director Greg McGarity said the school's athletic association will withhold the money from Beamer's paycheck for what he termed a ''mistake in judgment.''
Beamer is Georgia's tight ends and special teams coach. He joined the staff when Smart was hired following the 2015 season.
When asked by The Associated Press why Georgia was fining Beamer for actions at Virginia Tech, McGarity replied in an email that he would have no further comments on the decision.
In a statement released by Georgia, McGarity said ''conduct of this nature is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the University of Georgia and the University of Georgia athletic association.''
''We will use this as an example to remind our coaches and staff of our high expectations of ethical behavior and sportsmanship,'' McGarity said.
Smart said he appreciated Beamer releasing the information.
''While we do not condone this type of behavior, I appreciate Shane informing me and our administration of his involvement and respect the way in which he is accepting responsibility for his lapse in judgment,'' Smart said in a statement released by Georgia.
The Atlantic Coast Conference fined Louisville and Virginia Tech $25,000 each after it reviewed the findings of Wake Forest's internal investigation, which determined that Elrod leaked or attempted to leak game plan information before four games against three schools over three seasons - Virginia Tech in 2014, Louisville in 2016 and Army in both 2014 and `16.
Wake Forest began its review after documents related to its game plan for the Louisville game on Nov. 12 were discovered at the Cardinals' stadium.
Coach Dave Clawson revealed four days later that school officials were investigating a possible security breach and Wake Forest announced its findings last week, absolving the current staff and players and pinning the blame solely on Elrod, a former player in the 1990s and assistant under Jim Grobe who went into broadcasting when he was not retained during the coaching change to Clawson following the 2013 season.
Louisville suspended offensive coordinator Lonnie Galloway for the Citrus Bowl following its internal review, and Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock said a former unidentified Hokies assistant - now known to be the younger Beamer - was provided with ''some game plan information'' in 2014 but that the head coach had no knowledge of it.
Army also is investigating its role in the scandal.
Wake Forest beat both the Hokies and Army (24-21) in 2014. Army beat the Demon Deacons 21-13 on Oct. 29 - two weeks before a trip to Louisville in which they lost 44-12 and began to suspect a security breach.
Elrod has not returned phone calls or text messages, and his lawyer - former Wake Forest player James Quander - has declined to comment ever since the school released its findings.
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