The University of Georgia fined assistant coach Shane Beamer $25,000 for his role in the Wake Forest leaking scandal on Thursday. Beamer is a former assistant coach at Virginia Tech, which is one of the three schools to be publically identified for taking game planning information from former Wake Forest radio analyst Tommy Elrod.
Georgia’s fine of Beamer is an acknowledgement and admonishment from the school of his involvement in the leaking scandal. A source told Sports Illustrated last week that the leaked plays involved trick plays that Wake Forest was considering running when it played Virginia Tech in 2014. The game was still scoreless at the end of regulation before Wake Forest won 6–3 in double overtime.
"While at Virginia Tech, I was contacted by Tommy Elrod the night before our game against Wake Forest in 2014," Beamer said in a statement. "I had known him for several years through coaching circles so I did not think it unusual he would be calling me. During these communications, however, he told me about a few plays that he said Wake Forest might run during the game on Saturday ... I realize I made a serious mistake in judgment by accepting the information and failing to notify officials at Virginia Tech of the communications. I sincerely apologize to Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, the ACC and the University of Georgia for my mistake. I am truly sorry."
The revelation of Beamer’s involvement may again raise the question as to whether other Virginia Tech coaches on the staff knew about the leaked in formation. Both head coach Frank Beamer, who is now retired, and current Hokies defensive coordinator Bud Foster have publically denied any involvement. (Shane Beamer is Frank’s son). But the revelation that Beamer, who was Virginia Tech’s associate head coach and running backs coach, took the compromised information raises the question of whom he shared the information with. In a statement last week in which he admitted Virginia Tech was involved in the Wake Forest leaks scandal, Hokies athletic director Whit Babcock acknowledged Frank Beamer and Foster’s denial of involvement and said, “I believe and support both of them wholeheartedly.”
Shane Beamer said Thursday that he did not share the game plan information with anyone, "including our student-athletes, anyone on the coaching staff, or my father, nor did we use the information in the game."
Louisville and Army are the other two schools that have been identified in the scandal. Louisville suspended co-offensive coordinator Lonnie Galloway for the Citrus Bowl. The ACC also fined Louisville and Virginia Tech $25,000 for their involvement.
Army is currently investigating its role in the scandal. “Given the seriousness of these claims, it is important that all the facts and findings are gathered and analyzed to determine what action, if any, is warranted,” the school said in a statement.
Shane Beamer makes $300,000 as Georgia’s special teams coordinator. While the fine is significant, the incident may prove more costly to his reputation. Beamer has been a candidate for head coaching jobs in recent years, including the East Carolina job last year. Beamer has worked at South Carolina and Mississippi State in addition to his tenure at Virginia Tech, and he served as a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech and Tennessee. He is in his first year on Kirby Smart’s staff at Georgia.