Sunday, December 18, 2016

Wacky Wakeyleaks

A week or so into this, I'm still trying to wrap my head around a Wake Forest radio sports analyst attempting — and apparently somewhat succeeding — in forwarding details of the Deacons' football game plans to several opposing teams.


C'mon. A leak? Wake Forest football? Those two concepts don't seem to go together.

It's not as if the Deacons are a traditional national football power (they are 432-633-33 overall in their history, and 6-4 in a mere 10 bowl appearances). The team is 6-6 this year and will play in the Military Bowl against Temple in a few days. The interesting thing here is that Wake Forest actually won enough games to be bowl eligible. It doesn't happen often, and when it does, it's generally cause for celebration.

And yet, the Atlantic Coast Conference is all in a dither (and rightfully so) after it's been revealed that former Wake Forest football player and assistant coach (and Wake Forest radio sports analyst before he was fired) Tommy Elrod allegedly provided team information to opponents Louisville, Virginia Tech and (say it ain't so) Army.

Apparently, Elrod did this over a three-year span. Holy moley.

To me, the real curiosity in this whole episode is that the benefiting schools involved (so far) didn't exactly jump off fieldhouse roofs to report Elrod's betrayal of his alma mater. To me, that's worse than the leak itself. It displays a serious lack of moral integrity (if not a lack of sportsmanship). And that should be troubling in a world of sports gambling, multi-million dollar booster- and corporate-endorsed sports programs and larger-than-life coaching contracts.

The ACC is so appalled that it's fined Louisville and Virginia Tech $25,000 each. Really? $25,000? I hope that doesn't break those schools' bank accounts. I guess this slap is meant to be an immediate, mostly cosmetic punishment, pending further investigation. Like from the NCAA.

Army, by the way, is not an ACC member (at least, I don't think so. I can't keep up with super conferences anymore. Things change...), so it hasn't been fined. But they are self-investigating their involvement in this sorry tale. That's something, I guess.

So far, the teams benefiting from Elrod's perfidy have been notified by Wake Forest that it's own investigation may or may not implicate those schools' involvement. I suppose it's for the best if you don't get a Christmas card from Wake Forest this year. You know. Season's greetings.

I also find it interesting that Wake Forest still became bowl eligible despite being compromised by the leaks. As one Deacon fan suggested, after all this, maybe the team is really better than its 6-6 record would indicate.

In a different sense, it's clear the team is already better than the ones who accepted Elrod's leaks.

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