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Wake Forest football game prep information investigation leads to firing of radio announcer

LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 12: John Wolford #10 of the Wake Forest Deamon Deacons runs with the ball during the game against the Louisville Cardinals at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A radio announcer for Wake Forest football has been fired following an investigation, according to a news release from the university.

Following the Louisville football game on Nov. 12, Wake Forest conducted a thorough investigation to determine if confidential and proprietary game preparation information had been compromised.

The investigation was not limited to the situation with Louisville and was comprehensive in nature, the university said in the release.

According to the release, the investigation determined the following:

  • Based on emails, text messages and phone records, Tommy Elrod, a radio announcer for Wake Forest football games, provided or attempted to provide confidential and proprietary game preparations on multiple occasions, starting in 2014.
  • No members of the Wake Forest athletic department, football staff or players were involved in any way in these actions.

Tommy Elrod is an alumnus of Wake Forest and was a member of the football team from 1993-1997. He later was hired as a graduate assistant under Jim Grobe and held multiple positions for 11 seasons. He was not retained by Dave Clawson and joined the Wake Forest IMG Radio Network in 2014 as a football analyst covering Wake Forest football.

Elrod has been terminated immediately from his position at IMG and will no longer broadcast Wake Forest football games. He has been banned from Wake Forest athletics and its facilities.

“Wake Forest has notified all the appropriate entities related to these activities, and has taken steps to enhance security of game preparation activities. The University is satisfied with the actions taken and will have no further comment on the details of its investigation at this time,” the release said.

Statement from Ron Wellman, Wake Forest director of athletics

“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. All of us are now preparing for final exams and the Military Bowl and continuing to build an outstanding football program.”

Statement from Dave Clawson, Wake Forest head football coach

“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. At this point, this is a matter for Ron Wellman and others to act on. My staff and I are focused on Temple and preparing the team for the Military Bowl.”