Defensive coordinator Jay Bateman suspended after Wake Forest investigation

Army defensive coordinator Jay Bateman has been suspended two weeks and fined him $25,000 by West Point as a result of an academy investigation that revealed the three-year assistant was involved in mishandling information about the Wake Forest football program, the academy said in a news release Tuesday.

Army is the third team to be linked to have received some form of game-related information from Wake Forest announcer and former assistant Tommy Elrod. Louisville and Virginia Tech were other programs who admitted to involvement in the scandal.

The academy launched its own investigation on Dec. 16, after it was contacted by Wake Forest that Elrod potentially leaked the team’s game plans to Army.

The investigator, a U.S. Army officer assigned to athletic director Boo Corrigan, found that Bateman through McCartney, a coach who wasn’t retained by Army after the 2015 season, received proprietary information from Elrod in 2014.

McCartney and Elrod, who had previously worked together at Wake Forest, exchanged emails, texts, phone calls and voicemails before the Army-Wake Forest game on Sept. 20, 2014. Elrod sent his observations after watching Wake Forest practice films in 2014. The investigator found no evidence that the information was shared with any other coach, staff or player in 2014.

“Our commitment is to foster a culture of excellence and winning in everything we do,” Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen said in the statement. “It does not mean that we win at all costs. Rather, it means winning in accordance with our values and who we are as an institutions and a nation. When we win, we will do so honorably, remaining true to the values and standards that define us.”

Here are some of the details of the investigation released by Army:

Correspondence between McCartney and Elrod concerning Wake Forest information began before the 2014 Army-Wake Forest game. The contact included text messages, phone calls, voicemails and emails. Bateman was aware that McCartney was in contact with Elrod.

All current and former coaches and three unidentified Army football players interviewed denied speaking with Elrod or knowing McCartney was in contact with Elrod.

Texts from McCartney to Elrod indicated that McCartney was trying to hide the fact that he was in contact with Elrod. In several text messages, McCartney told Elrod that he and Bateman were the only ones who knew that Elrod was Wake Forest’s source.

McCartney and Bateman received information from Elrod breaking down Wake Forest practice film. Elrod drew multiple pages of diagrams off his analysis of what he viewed and sent to McCartney in 2014 and Bateman in 2016. None of information provided was specific game-plan information that Wake Forest head Dave Clawson decided to use in the games.

In  2014, McCartney sent photos of questions from offensive coordinator Brent Davis. Davis thought the questions were going to a high school coach that observed one of Wake Forest’s practices. Davis did not know the questions were being sent to Elrod.

Bateman received information from Elrod on Thursday Oct. 27, 2016, two days before Army’s game against Wake Forest. Bateman deleted the information, “because he realized it was wrong.”

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud @salinterdonato. Started a Facebook page, solely for Army coverage. Here’s the link.

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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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