Georgia’s Shane Beamer fined for involvement in ‘WakeyLeaks’ scandal

Shane Beamer-south carolina-georgia football
Georgia special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Shane Beamer.

ATHENS — Georgia special teams coordinator Shane Beamer has been fined $25,000 and reprimanded by the school for an incident that happened while he was at Virginia Tech, related to the ongoing “WakeyLeaks” scandal.

While an assistant at Virginia Tech in 2014, Beamer spoke to Tommy Elrod, then a broadcaster for the Demon Deacons who passed on “a few plays he said Wake Forest might run” during an upcoming game against the Hokies, according to a statement from Beamer.

Beamer said he didn’t share the information with “anyone,” not was it used for the game. But he said he made a “serious mistake in judgment” by not notifying officials at Virginia Tech, including his father Frank, then the head coach.

“I had known (Elrod) for several years through coaching circles so I did not think it unusual he would be calling me,” Beamer said. “During these communications, however, he told me about a few plays he said Wake Forest might run during the game on Saturday. I did not share this information with anyone, including our student-athletes, anyone on the coaching staff, or my father, nor did we use the information in the game.”

Wake Forest won the game in question, 6-3, in a game that was scoreless after the end of regulation. (Wake Forest finished that season with the nation’s worst-ranked offense, so a low-scoring game wasn’t exactly out of character. And Virginia Tech finished that season with the nation’s 19th-ranked defense.)

Shane Beamer (right) coached under his father Frank (left) from 2011-15 at Virginia Tech. (GETTY IMAGES).

Beamer was associate head coach and running backs coach at Virginia Tech, his alma mater, from 2011-15 before joining Kirby Smart’s staff at Georgia. Beamer also serves as the tight ends coach.

“Last week, Shane informed me of his involvement regarding the 2014 Virginia Tech game against Wake Forest,” Smart said in a statement. “While we do not condone this type of behavior, I appreciate Shane informing me and our administration of his involvement and respect the way in which he is accepting responsibility for his lapse in judgment.”

The ‘WakeyLeaks’ scandal broke last week, and involves Elrod being accused of passing on information about Wake Forest plays to Louisville and several other opponents. The ACC fined Louisville and Wake Forest $25,000, though it wasn’t clear whether that would constitute the entirety of the investigation or penalty.

Army is among the Wake Forest opponents that have also investigated whether Elrod attempted to pass on information.

Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity called it disappointing” to learn of Beamer’s involvement, but that he believes the coach “sincerely regrets this mistake in judgment.

“Conduct of this nature is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the University of Georgia and the University of Georgia Athletic Association,” McGarity said in a statement. “We will use this as an example to remind our coaches and staff of our high expectations of ethical behavior and sportsmanship.”

Georgia officials now consider the matter closed, at least as far as Beamer’s involvement.

Here are the full statements:

SHANE BEAMER

“While at Virginia Tech, I was contacted by Tommy Elrod the night before our game against Wake Forest in 2014. I had known him for several years through coaching circles so I did not think it unusual he would be calling me. During these communications, however, he told me about a few plays that he said Wake Forest might run during the game on Saturday. I did not share this information with anyone, including our student-athletes, anyone on the coaching staff, or my father, nor did we use the information in the game.

“I realize I made a serious mistake in judgment by accepting the information and failing to notify officials at Virginia Tech of the communications. I sincerely apologize to Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, the ACC and the University of Georgia for my mistake. I am truly sorry.

“I am particularly remorseful to the extent my actions may have brought embarrassment to my family, and especially my Dad. Again, I apologize for my actions and have learned from my mistakes.”

GREG McGARITY

“It was disappointing to learn that one of our current staff members, Shane Beamer, was involved with the unfortunate situation at Wake Forest University in 2014. We have discussed this situation with Shane and he sincerely regrets this mistake in judgment. As a result of this activity, the UGA Athletic Association will withhold $25,000 from his compensation, in addition to issuing a letter of reprimand from the Athletic Director.

“Conduct of this nature is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the University of Georgia and the University of Georgia Athletic Association. We will use this as an example to remind our coaches and staff of our high expectations of ethical behavior and sportsmanship.”

KIRBY SMART

“Last week, Shane informed me of his involvement regarding the 2014 Virginia Tech game against Wake Forest. While we do not condone this type of behavior, I appreciate Shane informing me and our administration of his involvement and respect the way in which he is accepting responsibility for his lapse in judgment.”

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