NCAA

ACC fines Virginia Tech for role in 'WakeyLeaks'

ACC fines Virginia Tech for role in 'WakeyLeaks'

BY TYLER BYRUM

After more details of the 'WakeyLeaks' debacle continue to be released, the Atlantic Coast Conference has issued a $25,000 institutional fine to Virginia Tech for their role in the scandal.

An ACC internal review of Wake Forest's own investigation, discovered that three schools were provided game plan information for the past three seasons. These games were against Virginia Tech for their matchup in 2014, Louisville in 2016, and out-of-conference games against Army in 2014 and 2016.

Louisville has also been fined $25,000 for their similar involvement. 

The scandal began when a copy of the Demon Deacons' playbook was found in the Louisville locker room on Dec. 13. Following a Wake Forest investigation, it was revealed that radio analyst Tommy Elrod provided opposing teams “confidential and proprietary game preparations on multiple occasions” beginning in 2014.

The game in question for the Hokies was a 6-3 double overtime loss to Wake Forest, when Frank Beamer was head coach of the Virginia Tech program. 

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The fine issued is the highest allowed by the league's bylaws. It appears no further actions will be taken by the conference in regards to the scandal.

“I am deeply disturbed something like this would occur, and regardless of the degree of involvement, the protection of the competitive integrity of our games is fundamental to any athletic contest,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a press release. “Sportsmanship and ethical values are at the core of competitive integrity and in these instances, those were missing. The expectation, regardless of the sport, is that any athletics department staff members would immediately communicate with their supervisor if they are approached by someone from another institution with proprietary information.” 

Richmond Spiders lose leading scorer Blake Francis for 4-6 weeks

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Richmond Spiders lose leading scorer Blake Francis for 4-6 weeks

Richmond Spiders' Blake Francis will miss four to six weeks after fracturing his sternum, the team announced on Thursday.

The injury occurred at the end of the Spiders' contest against Saint Louis on Jan. 11. Francis fell to the floor to save a loose ball when opposing Bilikins dove onto a dogpile to recover the possession themselves. 

If Francis is out for the full six weeks, he would return during the final week of the regular season. It would give the guard a tuneup game before they play in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. 

The loss of Francis for the majority of the Atlantic 10 conference season cannot be overstated. A transfer from Wagner, Francis is the No. 2 guard in the Spiders lineup and putting out 17 points a game. Immediately he had an impact for the Spiders and was named a starter for his first game in Richmond. 

His scoring threat has allowed other stars Jacob Gilyard and Grant Golden to flourish. An aspect of the offense that was missing last year. 

At 13-4, the Spiders were still in NCAA Tournament consideration before the injury. They have one of the better records in the league and tough road victories at Rhode Island and Davidson to their credit. However, there is no wiggle room for the Spiders and they probably cannot afford another loss to anyone not named Dayton or VCU. 

Without Francis, they'll have to supplement the offense elsewhere if they want any chance to return to the big dance in March. 

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Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente takes himself out of running for Baylor job

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Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente takes himself out of running for Baylor job

Virginia Tech fans can breathe a sigh of relief today, as head coach football coach Justin Fuente has decided to stay in Blacksburg, according to Andrea Adelson

Fuente had emerged as a top candidate to replace Matt Rhule at Baylor, but he took himself out of the running and will look to improve on a strong close to the 2019 season for the Hokies. 

Fuente just finished replacing a number of defensive assistants. He hired a new cornerbacks coach Tuesday and promoted Justin Hamilton to defensive coordinator after Bud Foster retired. 

While a bad loss to Virginia at the end of the regular season and a heartbreaking loss in the bowl game to Kentucky could paint the season as a failure, finishing 8-5 after early-season struggles is a victory in and of itself.

Heading into next season, Virginia Tech fans have to feel good about the state of their team. The head coach is back and they seemed to find a rising star at quarterback in Hendon Hooker. 

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