The College Hall of Fame induction class of 2012 was announced Tuesday morning by the National Football Foundation and includes 14 players and three coaches. News that three of the inductees, Ty Detmer (QB, BYU 1988-91), Jimmy Johnson (Head coach, Oklahoma State 1979-83, and Miami FL 1984-88), and Phil Fulmer (Head coach, Tennessee, 1992-08), were leaked early.
All 17 men will be inducted at the National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner in December at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York and will be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana during a summer ceremony in 2013.
The requirements for a player to be inducted are that he must have received First team All-American by an NCAA recognized selector, played his last year of intercollegiate football at least ten years prior, played within the last 50 years, and cannot currently be playing professional football. A coach becomes eligible after three years after retirement, or immediately following retirement if he is at least 70 years old and an active coach can become eligible if he is at least 75 years of age.
All coaches must have coached for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage. In both cases “the candidate’s post-football record as a citizen” may also be factored in to the decision. Although no active coaches will be inducted in this class, four have been during their career – Bobby Bowden (Florida State in 2006) and Joe Paterno (Penn State in 2007) while Chris Ault (Nevada in 2002) and John Gagliardi (St. John’s MN in 2006) are still active head coaches.
In addition to Detmer, the 13 men who will join the 904 players already inducted are:
- Charles Alexander - RB, LSU (1975-78)
- Otis Armstrong – RB, Purdue (1969-72)
- Steve Bartowski – QB, California (1972-74)
- Hal Bedsole – WR, Southern California (1961-63)
- Dave Casper – TE, Notre Dame (1971-73)
- Tommy Kramer – QB, Rice (1973-76)
- Art Monk – WR, Syracuse (1976-79)
- Greg Myers – DB, Colorado State (1992-95)
- Jonathan Ogden - OT, UCLA (1992-95)
- Gabe Rivera - DT, Texas Tech (1979-82)
- Mark Simoneau – LB, Kansas State (1996-99)
- Scott Thomas – S, Air Force (1982-85)
- John Wooten – OG, Colorado (1956-58)
RC Slocum – Head coach, Texas A&M (1989-02) will join Fulmer, Johnson, and the other 197 head coaches already enshrined in South Bend.
Several very deserving players that were on the ballot will not be inducted this year, however, because according to ESPN’s Ivan Maisel “the Hall has a rule against taking players from the same school in consecutive years.”
But after extensive research on both the College Football Hall of Fame and National Football Foundation sites, not only did I not find the “rule”, but found that USC had a player inducted every year from 2000-05, while the three powerhouses I searched for had three players inducted in consecutive years: Notre Dame from 1999-01, Michigan from 2000-02, and most recently Ohio State from 2007-09. (To search for a school, go here) If this is a rule, it must have been instituted very recently and exclude coaches as the Wolverines had Desmond Howard (WR) inducted in 2010 and Lloyd Carr (head coach) in 2011. If it is a rule, why allow players from the same school to be nominated in consecutive years at all?
The most notable players who will not be inducted in the College Hall of Fame in 2012 are (players’ names in parenthesis were elected to the Hall of Fame representing the same school in 2011):
- Brian Bosworth – LB, Oklahoma (Clendon Thomas)
- Tedy Bruschi – LB, Arizona (Rob Waldrop)
- Orlando Pace – OT, Ohio State (Eddie George)
- Vinny Testaverde – QB, Miami (Russell Maryland)
- Derrick Thomas – LB, Alabama (Marty Lyons)
- Danny Wuerffel – QB, Florida (Carlos Alvarez)
It should also be noted that Bosworth’s arrest in 2009 for a DUI could have played a part due to the post-football character as a citizen factor, although OJ Simpson is still in the Hall. Regardless of the reason (and with all due respect to the 14 deserving players announced) I do not know a more deserving player on the ballot than Tommie Frazier, QB, Nebraska.
If you follow any college football writer/blogger on Twitter, chances are you saw a barrage of tweets inundate your timeline Tuesday morning in an outrage over Frazier not becoming an inductee.
Frazier led the Cornhuskers to back-to-back consensus National Championships (1994-95), four Big Eight Conference titles (1992-95), was a consensus All-American (1995), and three-time Bowl MVP (Orange Bowl 1994-95, Fiesta Bowl 1996). He had a combined 6,266 yards and 83 touchdowns, while posting a 33-3 record as a starter. Frazier’s accolades and then-records at Nebraska make him one of the greatest collegiate quarterbacks of all time, and landed him as a back-up in 1999 on Sports Illustrated’s “NCAA Football All-Century Team”.
Witnessing Frazier in action, and remembering “The Run”, it is unfathomable how he was not inducted.
All we can hope for is that next year the dues-paying members and Honors Court get it right.