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ACC Roundup - Yurtseven Debuts, Wake Radio Scandal Grows

This could get really bad before it’s over. Worth noting: Wake is totally innocent in all of this.

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NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-North Carolina State vs Duke
NC State’s Mark Gottfried should be happy to finally get Omer Yurtseven on the court.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC is getting some late debuts this season and on Thursday State starts to get an idea of what it can expect from Omer Yurtseven as the tall Turk will take the court for the first time for the Wolfpack.

Good timing for State. The Pack has had some issues this season and while Yurtseven won't solve all of them, he’ll give them another option.

State now has four pretty good big men between Yurtseven, Abdul-Malik Abu, Ted Kapita and Beejay Anya.

State now has a full roster. Let’s see what the Pack does. This team has a great guard and lots of surrounding talent. It should get good.

With no ACC basketball games Wednesday, the Wake Forest football situation dominated local sports media.

As it turned out, SI’s Michael Rosenberg had it correct: Tommy Elrod called his friend and former Wake colleague Lonnie Galloway and shared information with him. The Louisville spin is that the plays only went to the defense and not to head coach Bobby Petrino, so no big deal.

Well not so fast.

First, as almost everyone has conceded, Petrino has a rotten reputation. We have yet to see anyone step to his defense. Not one person that we’re aware of has even suggested that we slow down to get all the facts.

Would Petrino do this? The general consensus appears to be hell yeah he’d do this.

That doesn’t mean he did, but the court of public opinion is not kind to Petrino at the moment.

For its part, Louisville is trying to cast this as a Wake Forest problem but that’s not going to work since Galloway was an active participant. Louisville is de facto involved.

And the ACC can’t ignore this either, nor can the national press.

And that got vastly harder Wednesday when we learned that Army is one of the schools that Elrod approached.

Aside from the obvious - West Point is a national treasure and a remarkable school - the Cadets live by an honor code.

We don’t know if the coaches do as well but if it turns out that anyone on the staff talked to Elrod and failed to disclose it, this scandal will hit a new level.

And if it turns out that any players knew, the honor code will likely require their expulsion.

If that happens, this becomes a huge national scandal.

Bringing it back to home, reps for both State and UNC denied involvement. Duke declined comment which is unfortunate. While we have immense respect for David Cutcliffe, who has built an enviable reputation as an honest guy.

It’s not necessarily his decision but the investigation will continue and if Duke is in any way implicated it’s not going to be good. Just as we’ve said for the last several years about UNC, if there is anything there - and we doubt there is, just to be clear - but if there is, better to get it over with quickly.

The big question yet to be answered is simple: what was Elrod’s motivation? Was it simply revenge for not being retained? Was that enough to risk a comfortable, safe and secure life?

We also know now that aside from his radio gig, Elrod worked as director of business management for Verger Investment LLC, Wake’s for-profit investment firm

We have no idea what he was making as of a few days ago, but media work usually pays reasonably well and financial sector jobs are usually well compensated too.

What would make him risk what was most likely a comfortable life?

Right now it’s an impossible question to answer but we can point to a corollary.

Former Duke guard Steve Gray had a wonderful life. He was prosperous and well regarded.

For whatever reason, it wasn’t enough and now he’s in federal prison on insider trading charges.

People have all kinds of motivations. For an answer just consider your own weaknesses. All of us have failings. All of us have temptations.

This scandal is far from over. We won’t fully understand it until we understand what motivated Elrod to risk everything for...what?

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