Cheating for Victory Always Distasteful
His name was not mentioned on the television show appropriately named Cheaters. His name did not appear on the infamous Ashley Madison list that was hacked with personal information about signed-up philanderers.
Instead, one Tommy Elrod, a former Wake Forest football player, graduate assistant.
and assistant football coach for the school. has been named and accused of allegedly handing over inside football information (plays, formations, other proprietary information) to Demon Deacon opponents over the last three years. Elrod was fired from his coaching position after the 2013 season. and has worked as a radio analyst for Wake Forest since 2014.
It must rank right up there with the most unscrupulous thing any former student/athlete of a university has done to hurt his/her alma mater. Elrod, no doubt, did not take his 2013 dismissal very well. The strides he took in his sad effort at revenge were devious and unconscionable.
Amazingly, Elrod’s three year run of providing information to opponents was not discovered until some information was found in the Louisville locker room after the Cardinals defeated Wake Forest 44-12 on November 12th. There will be more information unraveling as the Atlantic Coast Conference and the NCAA continues to delve into Wake Forest games played over the past three seasons.
Virginia Tech Athletic Director Whit Babcock acknowledges that Elrod shared Deacon information with a former Hokie assistant in 2014, but reported it was unknown if he shared the information with any other members of the Tech staff. Louisville AD Tom’
Jurich claims that Coach Bobby Petrino’s squad did not gain a competitive advantage even though an offensive coach for the Cardinals was given four offensive plays often used by Wake Forest. Louisville would have probably won in runaway style with or without the Elrod information (yeah, Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson is pretty good), but it cannot hurt to know what is coming—–offensively or defensively.
The 2014 Virginia Tech assistant and the 2016 Louisville assistant were each on the same coaching staff as Elrod at one time.
Elrod was given open access to practices and playbooks as part of his announcing assignment. While Wake Forest has never been considered an ACC football power, it is still not fair to be playing against a “stacked deck”. Demon Deacon quarterbacks were sacked 91 times this year, how many of those hits were the result of an opponent knowing what gap to rush or defensive scheme to use because of Elrod’s “insider information”?
Despite the competitive disadvantage caused by Elrod’s information, Wake Forest, under third year coach Dave Clawson, was able to finish 6-6 this season. The Demon Deacons will play Temple on December 27th in the Military Bowl.
This blogger has been a college football fan for six decades. Never have I seen an individual, or an institution, sink to this level. I am sure many have skirted rules and regulations—-all in the pursuit of victory. However, it is unfathomable how this former player, alumnus, and coach could do such a thing AGAINST young players and coaches that he intermingled with daily during those three years.
How could he sit in the broadcast booth and watch a WF offensive play blown up
because he gave the opponent some key to exploit? How could he not grimace, even a little bit, when a Demon Deacon player was carried off the field because the opponent was confident and carried out a play that they knew would work—because Elrod had given them the Deacon defensive scheme?
Conference championship games, College Football Playoff assignments, bowl game matchups, Heisman Trophy and other trophy announcements, and the firing and hiring of coaches, has monopolized sports pages in the past four weeks. However, make no mistake, the Wake Forest scandal (some cleverly have called it Wakeyleaks) will be given much attention by the NCAA. It must step up immediately, put some ointment on that big black eye, and do something to protect the competitive integrity of the collegiate game.
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