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December 13, 2016

With Temple up next, Wake Forest fires radio analyst for leaking game plans to opponents

It has been a hectic week for the Temple football program following the departure of head coach Matt Rhule. The Owls were able to replace Rhule with Florida defensive coordinator Geoff Collins on Tuesday, but later in the day we found out that they missed out on a huge opportunity.

For the Military Bowl on December 27, the Owls probably won’t have the game plan of their opponent, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. 

After conducting an investigation, the Wake Forest athletic department determined that radio analyst Tommy Elrod was a mole. Specifically, they are saying that Elrod “provided or attempted to provide confidential and proprietary game preparations on multiple occasions, starting in 2014.”

Yes, you are reading this correctly: The Demon Deacons are saying that their own radio analyst sabotaged them, the equivalent of Mike Quick handing over Doug Pederson’s play sheet to the rest of the NFC East. Here’s Wake coach Dave Clawson:

I am extremely disappointed that our confidential and proprietary game preparation was compromised. It’s incomprehensible that a former Wake Forest student-athlete, graduate-assistant, full-time football coach, and current radio analyst for the school, would betray his alma mater. We allowed him to have full access to our players, team functions, film room, and practices. He violated our trust which negatively impacted our entire program. I am glad we have taken steps to ensure it will not happen in the future.

A former player and longtime assistant coach under Jim Grobe (who resigned after the 2013 season), he wasn’t retained by Clawson and then took over as a broadcaster. Here is what Wake athletic director Ron Wellman said:

I have known Tommy Elrod since his days as a player on our football team. I’m deeply disappointed that he would act against Wake Forest, our football team and our fans in such a harmful manner by compromising confidential game preparation information. It is a relief that the team can move forward without his actions further undermining the positive strides Dave Clawson, his staff and the team have made.

So yeah, this story doesn’t have much to do with Temple. But the Owls are Wake’s first opponent in the post-Elrod era, which will make the Military Bowl a much more interesting storyline nationally than previously expected.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann