College Football Notes May 6-8
Billy Neighbors, a 2003 NFF College Hall of Fame inductee from Alabama, passed away in Huntsville, Ala., April 30. He was 72. When Billy Neighbors was recruited to play at Alabama, NFF College Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant promised that if he would stick it out for four years he would be a part of a national championship. Neighbors was only one of nine freshmen out of 108 that managed to “stick it out.” But Bryant made true on his promise winning the national title in 1961. Neighbors was a principal reason that the Tide won the championship that season. He was part of a defense that only allowed 25 points over an entire season. They shut out six opponents and never gave up more than seven points in any game. The national championship capped a Neighbors career in which he was never part of a team that finished outside the nation’s Top 10. The ’61 consensus All-America and All-Southeastern Conference selection is survived by his wife Susan, daughter Claire, and sons Wes and Keith. Both sons played for Alabama.
In just over a week – Tuesday, May 15 – the NFF & College Hall of Fame will denote its 62nd annual Hall of Fame class with a national telecast over ESPNU at 11:30 a.m. (EDT), with NFF officials hosting from NASDAQ headquarters in New York City, NASDAQ MarketSite, 4 Times Square (43rd St. & Broadway), zip code: 10036. At least three new inductees to be determined from the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame class (from a list of the 76 All-America players and eight elite coaches on the ballot) will be present to represent the announcement of the 14 players and three coaches who have been selected as this year’s class. Fans can watch a live stream on the web produced by XOS Digital at ESPN3.com (direct link), the NFF onDemand YouTube Channel (direct link) or at www.footballfoundation.org. Media will be provided a live satellite feed will be provided at coordinates TBD from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (EDT) or via a clean feed/Vvxy line at circuit No. 1625 of the Waterfront (Ascent Media) in NYC. News services (CBS Newspath; ABC NewsOne; NBC NewsChannel, CNN Newsource, Fox Feed, etc.) will provide specific footage. Permission is granted for use for news purposes only.
The NFF in partnership with the Chick-fil-A Bowl designated Mamadou Diallo, a junior PK Atlanta (Ga.) Frederick Douglass HS; and DeAngelo White, a senior QB-DB from Atlanta Therrell HS; as Play It Smart Student-Athletes of the Month for March and April 2012.
Happy birthdays to NFF College Hall of Famers Doug Atkins Alvarez and Ronnie Lott (May 8), Brad Budde (May 9), Joe Cichy and Don McCauley (May 12)…
NFF College Hall of Fame Facts
Some key birthdates in NFF College Football Hall of Fame annals in the May 8-14 time period are May 8 (1930) Doug Atkins, Humboldt, Tenn.; (1959) Ronnie Lott, Albuquerque, N.M.; May 9 (1958) Brad Budde, Detroit, Mich.; May 10 (1917) Charlie O’Rourke, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; May 11 (1874) Langdon Lea, Germantown, Pa.; May 12 (1872) Art Wheeler, Philadelphia, Pa.; (1888) John Wilce, Rochester, N.Y.; (1934) Harold Davis, Youngstown, Ohio; (1948) Joe Cichy, Fargo, N.D.; (1949) Don McCauley, Worcester, Mass.; May 14 (1907) Howard Harpster, Salem Ore.; (1924) John Ferraro, Cudahy, Calif.
Anniversary death dates of Hall of Famers are May 8 (1997) Bob Devaney, Lincoln, Neb.; (2006) Jarrin’ John Kimbrough, Haskell, Texas; May 9 (2002) Dan Devine, Tempe, Ariz.; May 11 (1986) Fritz Pollard, Silver Spring, Md.; May 13 (1985) Morley Jennings, Lubbock, Texas; May 14 (1995) Tommy Prothro, Memphis, Tenn.
Washington State will host Idaho Sept. 21, 2013…Houston and Louisiana Tech have a three-game series slated for 2012-14…Alabama and Michigan state will meet in Tuscaloosa in 2016 and at East Lansing in ’17…Arkansas and Texas A&M signed forma contracts to play their 2012 and ’13 contests at campus sites. They have competed the three previous years in non-conference clashes at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington Texas…Brigham Young and Utah State formally are contracted for the 2012-15 campaigns…The State Fair of Texas and City of Dallas have been working to secure the Oklahoma-Texas AT&T Red River Shootout through the 2020 season. The game has been played annually in Dallas since 1929…Clemson and Georgia have raised their 2013 and ’14 series cancellation fees to $3 million if either team withdraws from the contract…Florida State and West Virginia have reached a financial settlement on their cancelled 2012 encounter…Vanderbilt already has surpassed its 2011 season ticket total and is pushing 13,000 in sales…Michigan State is completing the addition of $10 million in new stadium boards and has suspended season ticket sales until June 1 because of a backlog of 6,100 new orders for ’12…North Carolina A&T’s new football skybox area has opened and is hosting several gatherings in 2012 preseason…UCLA athletics will inaugurate the Pacific-12 Conference’s initial sports tour of China in August…West Virginia is employing a new system to prioritize both football and basketball season tickets…The possible jumps of Georgia Southern, Charlotte, Appalachian State, and Villanova along with already-qualified Massachusetts to FBS represent one of the biggest movements since Boise State, Troy and Marshall leapt from then-NCAA Division I-AA to I-A in the early 1990s. South Alabama also will upgrade to FBS and compete in Sun Belt Conference football in 2013…New Hampshire became one of the last FCS or FBS squads to finish spring drills last Saturday, and the Colonial Athletic Association has posted blog updates and conference chats.
Voting for the new CyHawk Trophy to commemorate the annual winner of the Iowa-Iowa State game had over 11,000 online participants from the two rivals…International students at Missouri received the Crash Course in American Football from Tiger coaches, student-athletes and staff…Colorado Department of Public Safety and animal control officials had to tranquilize a curious black bear near CU athletics facilities and residence halls last week…James Madison student-athletes participated in a special fundraising Walk for Multiple Sclerosis…Twenty-five Wyoming football student-athletes, coaches and staff members are making a special mission trip to Haiti this week to assist families in memory of former UW standout and Haiti native Ruben Narcisse…Dallas Jesuit HS football and athletics are hosting its annual Special Games to encourage and assist special needs’ athletes of all ages from the area…North Dakota alumni and fundraising groups have begun another concerted effort to preserve the Fighting Sioux athletics nickname… Two holes-in-one highlighted Chattanooga athletics’ Porky’s Open golf outing fundraiser last week…Wisconsin is renewing its popular Badger Day tours for alumni destinations in May and early June…Tampa athletics is transplanting its historic Grand Oak trees to another area of campus in the process of building its new athletics office complex.
Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien has been receiving high marks for a series of alumni meeting speeches in recent weeks…Alabama head coach Nick Saban publicly supports a week-long bowl experience if the BCS expands to a four-team or plus-one model…Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley appraises the new members of his coaching staff as a midterm correction and better for the program in his third season there…Houston Baptist added Roger Hinshaw as co-defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator…UTEP tight ends coach Jeff Woodruff is leaving to become head coach at Oaks Christian HS in Westlake Village, Calif.
Recent director of athletics’ positions filled have been Bill Scholl (Ball State), Brian Hicks (Alabama A&M), Nick Smith (Assumption, Mass.), Brian Wigley (interim) at Shenandoah, and David Benedict (Virginia Commonwealth)…Scot Hanna is retiring after a school-record 44 years in athletics administration and coaching at Minnesota-Duluth…Jason McBain has been selected as sports information director at St. Bonaventure…UC Riverside named Erik Buskirk assistant AD for development…Oakland U. athletics named four new assistant ADs – Adrian Kowal, Gordie Lindsay, Scott MacDonald, and Elisabeth Putnam…Northern Illinois AD Jeff Compher had his head shaved as part of a vow to football and four other teams’ student-athletes if they won Mid-American Conference team titles in 2011-12…Georgia president Dr. Michael Adams leaves a solid legacy in athletics, BCS negotiations and a new Medical School in Athens as he retires from his position…Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin and retiring AD Bill Byrne are working on a joint exit strategy for Byrne.
Longtime Stanford and Iowa AD Bob Bowlsby has been named the fourth commissioner of the Big 12 Conference…John Marinatto resigned Monday as commissioner of the Big East Conference…Conference USA will add Charlotte (which will begin FBS activity in 2015), FIU, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, and UTSA for all sports starting in 2013-14 and is in negotiations with Old Dominion…The Mountain West Conference is picking up San Jose State and Utah State for 2013-14…The Sun Belt Conference has added former Southland and Western Athletic Conferences’ member Texas State along with Texas-Arlington beginning July 1, 2013…Butler has joined the Atlantic 10 Conference…Charlotte is on the verge of joining a football loop to be determined…Commissioners from the six equity circuits have the task of making the “final sale” for the four-team BCS or other FBS playoff system to university chief executive officers, according t several published reports…The Western Athletic Conference issued a statement regarding configuration from interim commissioner Jeff Hurd: “The Western Athletic Conference Board of Directors is well aware of the changing landscape in Division I athletics and has been in discussion about it for the last several weeks. Further, it continues to evaluate the impact upon the WAC and is closely engaged in evaluating its membership options. It will not speculate relative to those options, but it has confidence that the WAC will maintain its more than 50-year history as a preeminent Division I conference.”…Nevada football is studying its new option as a member of the MWC for football in ’12…The Big Ten Conference has announced airtimes and kickoff times for all 12 2012 Homecoming contests within the loop. Please click here for the complete schedule…Conference USA will host media days online July 24-25 in the Dallas-Fort Worth…Legendary Southland Conference associate commissioner for business Jack Key will retire this year…Coastal Carolina’s Board of Governors has bestowed full power to negotiate with national conferences to president David DeCenzo.
The 2012 Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman will be played Thursday, Dec. 27, at 3 p.m. (EST) at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. It benefits the USO and will be televised nationally on ESPN. Army is scheduled to meet an Atlantic Coast Conference foe, pending eligibility for both groups…Last week’s Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge to help distribute $520,000 to college scholarships resulted in a win for the second year in succession by Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson and celebrity partner Jon Barry with a composite 10-under-par. The 18-hole tourney paired some of the nation’s top coaches in a two-man scramble, and Johnson and Barry helped raise $125,000 for scholarships and a Challenge-high total of $763,000 for college grants and area charities…There are now 30 certified bowls with telecast times and dates out of a potential 35 postseason FBS contests for 2012-13. These numbers include the five BCS encounters…The St. Louis Sports Commission is looking into a future bowl possibility at the Edward Jones Dome. Prime candidates would be Big Ten and Big 12 Conference teams…The Football Bowl Association named its 2012-13 officers and board with a revamped Executive Committee chaired by Steve Hogan, CEO of Florida Citrus Sports. He replaces chair Tina Kunzer-Murphy of the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and will serve a two-year term. Last week’s national convention in Ft. Lauderdale, hosted by the Discover Orange Bowl, attracted 300-plus bowl representatives, conference officials, tradeshow vendors, and media. The Discover Orange Bowl served as the host bowl for the meetings. Other members of the FBA Executive Committee are Discover Orange Bowl CEO Eric Poms, Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan, Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl President and CEO Scott Ramsey, President & CEO of the Valero Alamo Bowl Derrick Fox, Executive Director of the Hyundai Sun Bowl Bernie Olivas, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Executive Director Kevin McDonald, Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl and San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Executive Director Bruce Binkowski, and Kunzer-Murphy…New Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby envisions the AT&T Cotton Bowl as a major player in revised BCS or four-team FBS playoff plans.
CBS has moved the LSU at Arkansas contest to Friday, Nov. 23, at 1:30 p.m. (CST) for a national telecast…Oklahoma has launched a special SoonersHub.com feature for frequent web browsers…ESPN has been working with Virginia athletics about expanded opportunities and campus events’ broadcasts…Intercollegiate Football Research Association executive director Tex Noel will be a guest host on ESPN Radio Chattanooga on May 15.
2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III of Baylor was the sixth Heisman recipient selected No. 2 in the NFL draft along with NFF College Hall of Famers 1947-Glenn Davis, Army; 1953-Billy Vessels, Oklahoma; 1958-John David Crow, Texas A&M; 1977-Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh; and 2006-Reggie Bush (not a NFF Hall of Famer), Southern California (all running backs), according to tabulations by Intercollegiate Football Research Association…Wyoming’s post-spring depth chart includes 2011 starting cornerbacks Marqueston Huff and Blair Burns.
Three former Tennessee football standouts have been selected for the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame. They are Todd Kelly (1989-92), Terry McDaniel (1984-87) and Charlie Severance (1959-60)…Veteran Ohio State athletics media relations and championships director Shelly Poe will receive the 2012 CoSIDA Trailblazer Award…Legendary athletics media relations directors Wallace Dooley and Mike Mahon will be honored in June at St. Louis with the CoSIDA Lifetime Achievement Award while Wright State’s Bob Noss is a 25-year Award honoree by the national group. Mississippi State’s Joe Dier, who has been associated with the school’s program in several capacities since 1974, also will receive his 25-year plaque from the organization…Former Penn State standout and courageous spinal injury survivor Adama Taliferro has been elected to the PSY Board of Trustees for 2012-13…UCLA athletics videographer Ken Norris has been given the inaugural 2012 College Sports Video Services Pioneer Award.
Kansas State ($23.5 million), Texas, LSU, Alabama, and Florida athletics had the five highest profit margins among 99 public FBS universities from 2010-11 research…Minnesota athletics is seeking board approval for $7.5 million in spring sports, office and practice facilities…FedEx has added another $2.5 million to Liberty Bowl Stadium renovations with financing for new message boards…LSU’s Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes has partnered with Game Theory Group International for professional job opportunities after graduation and career planning…Weber State athletics and the Big Sky Conference have unveiled new logos…Paciolan has introduced a Ticketing Intelligence Data Warehouse Solution for clients such as Arizona State athletics.
There were 24 NCAA Division II athletics departments recognized last week for academic success. For the complete listing, please click here (ncaa.com/DII/academics)…The National Association for Athletics Compliance will host a networking dinner presented by JumpForward for new NAAC members and new compliance professionals Monday, June 25, at the Dallas Hilton Anatole.
George “Goober” Lindsey, who played quarterback at then-Florence State Teachers (now North Alabama) in 1950 and ’51, raised money for UNA athletics through several charity events and starred on the Andy Griffin Show, died in Nashville, Tenn., last Sunday. He was 83…Al Ecuyer, 74, who starred at Notre Dame and New Orleans (La.) Jesuit High School passed away recently…Junior Seau, who starred at Southern California and for 20 years in the NFL, died last week in Oceanside, Calif. He was 43…Michael Edwards, one of seven Moss Point (Miss.) HS players to ink with Mississippi State in 1975, passed away suddenly in Pascagoula, Miss., last Thursday. He was 55…Dick Beam, 75, who assisted NFF College Hall of Fame head coaches John McKay at USC and with the Tampa Bay Bucs and Don Coryell at Whittier (Calif.), died last week in Corona, Calif….Former Florida and UCLA coach and administrator Ron Ballatore died after a log battle with bone cancer in Gainesville, Fla. He was 72.
For BCS updates and 2012-13 bowl schedules, please go to www.bcsfootball.org.