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The Wake Forest leaks story started with Louisville, but Petrino's denied knowledge

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Tuesday night, college football asserted its dominance as America's greatest and dumbest sport:

The Deacs are convinced they've got a mole. Their investigation found that Tommy Elrod, a former Deacs assistant under Jim Grobe who's been a team radio color commentator since 2014, attempted to leak Wake Forest game documents to opponents over a period of years.

The athletic department says Elrod "provided or attempted to provide confidential and proprietary game preparations on multiple occasions, starting in 2014. Wake's press release says Elrod is out as a radio commentator and banned from the team's facilities.

A call to Elrod on Tuesday evening wasn't immediately returned.

Elrod is a Wake Forest alum. He played football for the Deacs from 1993 to 1997 and served in various positions on Grobe's Wake staffs for 11 seasons. When Clawson took over the program in 2014, Elrod wasn't part of his staff, but he started broadcasting games.

WAKEYLEAKS, as Twitter's named it.

This whole thing started after Wake Forest's loss at Louisville this season, when a staffer found Deacons materials where they shouldn't have been.

Because this involves Louisville, some attention turns to Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino. He's got a history of scandals, after all. Sports Illustrated's Michael Rosenberg writes, with way too much confidence, that Petrino "apparently cheated to win a game."

"I have no knowledge of the situation," Petrino said in a statement at the time. "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 finishing the 2016 season strong."

Petrino's staff might've used leaked docs. Might not've. He might be lying. He's done it before. He might be telling the truth. He's done that before, too. Wake might've found them where Elrod left them before Louisville did. Maybe Louisville took one look and discarded it. Maybe someone at Louisville tipped off Wake. Maybe Elrod is Petrino in disguise. We really don't know enough about this to accuse Petrino of breaking rules at this point.

At the time, he followed that statement by doubling down:

"I can tell you that we didn't," Petrino said on ESPN's "Mike and Mike" radio show. "I like our team, and I'm down here (in Houston) preparing for this game, so I don't really understand what they're talking about. I heard about it right before we got on the plane to leave (for Houston on Nov. 16). But I can assure you that we prepare each week the way that you're supposed to prepare, and I like the fact that our team knows how to do that."

It's hard to defend Petrino's integrity in just about any matter, but let's hang on a second here.

One update: Louisville's admitted its defensive coaches were tipped off to some stuff that Louisville says didn't end up mattering. It's conceivable Petrino, primarily an offensive coach, might not've known about this. Conceivable.

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