Dan Collins of the Winston-Salem Journal reported a story yesterday that made national headlines, as Wake Forest alleges that a member of their travel party found documents pertaining to the Demon Deacon game plan at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium Friday night.
Further reporting from other sources indicate the document included specifics about plays the Deacs had not yet run in a game setting this season.
Some points to clarify:
This in not something the Wake Forest coaching staff and administration sought to release. Collins got a tip from a reader about the incident, and he starting asking about the situation Tuesday morning/afternoon. He continued to follow up until he got what he needed to run the story. Once asked, Wake coach Dave Clawson and athletic director Ron Wellman had essentially two choices — lie to Collins or tell what they knew. He likely wouldn't have just stopped looking into the issue, as this is pretty big news.
Nobody on the Wake coaching staff is alleging this "cost them" the game in Louisville Saturday. Sure, fans can debate and offer conjecture, and sure it's interesting to wonder how different the game would have been if a couple of those 1st-half UL turnovers had been converted to touchdowns instead of field goals — but there's been no specific allegation the states a play that was allegedly stolen flipped the game. Steve Jones of the Courier-Journal asked Clawson during the ACC Teleconference Wednesday if it had any impact on the outcome of the game, and Clawson responded, "Again, I'm not going there."
Wrinkles. The Deacs are becoming infamously known for a somewhat vanilla offense this season. With a top-20 defense, and a lack of a dynamic game breaker at running back, Clawson and his staff are somewhat notorious for not taking chances offensively. That being said, a few things seemed to have been added to the playbook last week, and it's possible that knowledge of those additions are what potentially alarmed the staff when they saw the alleged documents.
History. My Twitter feed was running rampant Wednesday with a bevy of Louisville fans calling Clawson a variety of names, but most notably contending that he's a sore loser. This is Clawson's 17th year as a head coach. He went 3-9 his first two seasons at Wake, and has now lost 102 football games as the man in charge. Though the details are still yet to be determined, Clawson don't strike me as someone to just simply whine about a loss.