Dan Collins of the Winston-Salem Journal caused an uproar this morning when he reported that Wake Forest is investigating if game plan documents ended up in Louisville’s possession prior to Saturday night’s contest against the Cardinals. Collins is reporting that Wake Forest head coach, Dave Clawson, informed Athletic Director, Ron Wellman, of the possible breach on Friday.
Wake Forest head coach, Dave Clawson, said during Wednesday’s weekly ACC Teleconference that, “There somehow was a breach. I’ve shared it with our AD and we’re trying to figure out what happened.” He went on to say, “ We’re looking at things internally to see how this could have gotten out of our office.”
This piece on CBS Sports claims that per Ron Wellman, a member of the Wake Forest traveling party found documents at Louisville’s Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
This is an extremely serious issue, and one that I’m not going to speculate on. Clearly Louisville hasn’t been the most scrupulous program in college athletics, but it would be unfair to the program to accuse them of this until more facts come out.
I know the first thing people want to do is think they are the first person to observe that the score was 44-12 and this potential breach had zero impact on the outcome of the game. First, I will say that the game was much closer than 44-12 up until a late pick-six by backup quarterback Kyle Kearns and a late meaningless touchdown by Louisville. And for those saying they didn’t use it til the 4th quarter, that’s cute. Knowing a game plan can have an unbelievable impact on a game, and it’s not just reflected in what the score is, but rather what the score could have been.
If Louisville did in fact obtain these documents, would that have given them an additional advantage and potentially influence the outcome the game? No doubt. This is not just sour grapes. During Clawson’s tenure at Wake, the Deacs have taken some tough losses by big amounts, but never once has anything like happened.
First time Wake had ran this play all season. Block missed, for sure, but snuffed quickly. pic.twitter.com/jRtEWZo8E1— Les Johns (@Les_Johns) November 16, 2016
Wake Forest can’t be without blame here. Whether or not Louisville actually used the information, Wake has to look internally to discover how this happened, and make damn sure that it never happens again. Coach Clawson is paranoid about things like open practices, and events like this are exactly why.
UPDATE: Louisville head coach, Bobby Petrino, released the following statement: “I have no knowledge of the situation. We take a lot of pride in the way we operate our program. As I’ve stated already this season, my coaching philosophy has always been to play the game with sportsmanship. Right now, our focus is on our game tomorrow at Houston and finished the 2016 season strong.”
We will continue to keep you all updated as more information becomes available.