College Football Notes – Feb. 26-28
Spanning more than 4,800 high schools and 400,000 student-athletes, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame has denoted that its chapter network will distribute more than $1 million in scholarships during its 2012 banquet season, selecting 3,300 student-athletes for recognition as the best and the brightest for their combined achievements on the gridiron, in the classroom, and as leaders in the community.
The NFF Chapter Network, spread across 121 outposts in 47 states, serves as the backbone of a nationwide effort to encourage leadership, sportsmanship and academic excellence among young football players. Each year the chapters combine to stage more than 1,000 events, including coaching clinics, all-star games, leadership conferences, college nights and more than 100 scholarship banquets.
Annually drawing more than 33,000 people and serving as the centerpiece of the chapter’s efforts, the NFF banquets stand as an important milestone for the honorees as they claim a portion of more than $1 million in scholarships to advance their educations. The all-time amount raised and disbursed by the chapters will exceed $16 million in ‘12. Coupled with the cumulative amount of $9.8 million awarded by the national office, the all-time amount distributed by the NFF will approach $26 million since chapter awards banquets were started in 1959.
Happy birthdays to National Football Foundation College Hall of Famers Hayden Fry (Feb. 28), Mike Rozier (Mar. 1), Randy Gradishar, Herschel Walker and Gene Stallings (Mar. 2)…Inaugural (1951) Hall of Fame class member the immortal coach Knute Rockne was born 124 years ago on Mar. 4, 1888, in Voss Norway, before emigrating to the Chicago area with his family.
NFF College Hall of Fame Facts
Some key birthdates in NFF College Football Hall of Fame annals in the Feb. 28-Mar. 5 time period are Feb. 28 (1885) Ray Morrison, Sugar Branch, Ind.; (1929) Hayden Fry, Odessa, Texas; (1945) Bubba Smith, Beaumont, Texas; Mar. 1 (1883) Tom Shevlin, Muskegon, Mich.; (1884) Vince Stevenson, Livingston, Ky.; (1961) Mike Rozier, Camden, N.J.; Mar. 2 (1934) Howard “Hopalong” Cassady, Columbus, Ohio; (1935) Gene Stallings, Paris, Texas; (1946) Wayne Meylan, Bay City, Mich.; Dec. 3 (1890) Art Howe, South Orange, N.J.; (1917) Carl Hinkle, Hendersonville, Tenn.; (1952) Randy Gradishar, Warren, Ohio; (1962) Herschel Walker, Wrightsville, Ga.; Mar. 4 (1888) Knute Rockne, Voss, Norway; Mar. 5 (1875) Frank O’Neill, Syracuse, N.Y.; (1918) Paul Christman, St. Louis, Mo.; (1921) Dave Schreiner, Lancaster, Wis.; (1922) Bob Odell, Corning, Iowa.
Anniversary death dates of Hall of Famers are Feb. 28 (1965) Paul Hoernemann, Strongsville, Ohio; Dec. 29 (1992) Don Heinrich, Saratoga, Calif.; (2008) Buddy Dial, Houston, Texas; Mar. 1 (1959) Albie Booth, New York City; (1969) Andy Kerr, Tucson, Ariz.; Dec. 2 (1970) Paul Christman, Lake Forest, Ill.; (1971) Dixie Howell, Hollywood, Calif.; Dec. 4 (2009) George McAfee, Durham, N.C.; Dec. 5 (1974) Fred Crawford, Tallahassee, Fla.
The 11 conference commissioners involved in the configuration, Notre Dame athletics, and Bowl Championship Series officials issued the following statement last week about the future of the BCS after the 2013 season contracts expire:
In an effort to grow college football’s great popularity and success, we just completed two days of productive meetings in Dallas, Texas.
We have until the fall of this year to finalize any possible changes to our current structure. That’s when contractual obligations require us to begin negotiations with our television carrier for future coverage decisions. We have a self-imposed deadline of sometime this summer to decide what changes we will propose to our governing bodies for football’s post-season. It’s still early in our process and we will continue to meet with our conferences and review options.
Whatever we do, we want to protect college football’s regular season which is the best and most meaningful in sports. We want to preserve the great bowl tradition while making it better and more attractive. We also have heard the message about playing bowl games closer to or on January 1, the way it used to be.
As we proceed, we will evaluate the many pros and cons of numerous possible changes. Every idea has exciting up sides, as well as complicated consequences. From the realities of the calendar to the issues presented in terms of venues such as who hosts games, we have tremendous responsibilities and opportunities.
The bottom line is we will continue to talk about how to make a great sport even better for student-athletes, fans and everyone who loves college football.
The NCAA Football Playing Rules Oversight Panel, on which NFF rules and NFF National Officiating Award recipient Rogers Redding serves, has made several changes for the 2012 season. Major updates are:
-Teams will kick off at the 35-yard line instead of the 30. Players on the kicking team can’t line up for the play behind the 30-yard line, which is intended to limit the running start kicking teams used to have during the play.
-Touchbacks on free kicks will be moved to the 25-yard line instead of the 20 to encourage more touchbacks. Touchbacks on other plays (for example, punts that go into the end zone, or fumbles that go out of the end zone) will remain at the 20-yard line.
-If a player loses his helmet (other than as the result of a foul by the opponent, such as a facemask), it will be treated like an injury. The player must leave the game and is not allowed to participate for the next play.
-There also is new wording in the rules book regarding blocking below the waist. Offensive players in the tackle box at the snap who are not in motion are allowed to block below the waist legally without restriction. All other players are restricted from blocking below the waist with a few exceptions (for example, straight-ahead blocks).
-Players will be prohibited from leaping over blockers in an attempt to block a punt. Receiving-team players trying to jump over a shield-blocking scheme has become popular for teams in punt formation.
-Earlier, the Football Rules Committee in 2012 raised concern about this type of action and proposed a rule similar to the leaping rule on place kicks that does not allow the receiving team to jump over blockers, unless the player jumps straight up or between two players.
Arkansas and Rutgers will play at Arkansas Sept. 22, 2012, and then at Rutgers Sept. 21, 2013. Arkansas at Texas A&M will play at camus sites in 2012 and ’13 and then back at Cowboys Stadium at Arlington, Texas, in 2014. The A&M-Sam Houston State clash is set for Nov. 17, 2012…Brigham Young will travel to Nebraska in 2015…Idaho State and Nebraska have renewed their series for the 2012 campaign…Florida State completed its 2012 schedule by adding Savannah State in Tallahassee on Sept. 8…Miami (Fla.) and USF have moved their 2012 encounter up one week to Nov. 17. USF also may add Temple to its ’12 slate as negotiations continue between the schools…Connecticut and UCF will play a two-game series in 2014-15…Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State have scheduled games for 2015-17…Boise State and Tennessee-Martin will play for the first time in 2013…Georgia Tech hopes to become the final ACC squad to finish non-conference scheduling for the coming year…Memphis and Tulane became the first two Conference USA teams to begin spring practice last Wednesday…Air Force also opened spring workouts on Feb. 24 with an eye toward a March 22 intrasquad encounter…TCU began its Big 12 Conference era for football with the start of spring workouts last Friday…Troy athletics will be moving several coaches’ and trainers’ offices from 50-year-old Sartain Hall to the new Trojan Arena…Oregon is tightening up its compliance and monitoring of football recruiting practices…Wisconsin was the only Big Ten Conference member last week to voice opposition to the NCAA multiyear football and other sports’ scholarships’ proposal…Illinois will have a new football ticket pricing plan for the coming season…Colorado State will be able to build a new football stadium at no cost to state or area taxpayers…Western Oregon athletics inaugurated a discount ticket plan for area fans.
Monday the famed Tower of Texas celebrated its 75th anniversary of opening on Feb. 27, 1937. The tower is lighted from top tt bottom to denote Texas conference and national football titles and significant victories in other sports…Savannah State athletics and student-athletes helped with homeless shelters and food gathering during community service activity last week… Coastal Carolina athletics held free sports clinics for area youngsters…Wayne State (Mich.) athletics is hosting a special skills’ summer camp for youngsters of all age groups…Away.com notes that its six best sites for football tailgating are Ole Miss, LSU, Auburn, Penn State, Texas, and Washington…Houston Baptist student-athletes volunteered to assist elderly residents at University Place Assistade Living Center with Valentine’s Week activities.
Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe hosted a pre-spring practice news conference in Winston-Salem, N.C., earlier today…Jonathan Michaeles was named head coach at Colby…John Jancek is the new defensive coordinator at Cincinnati…Al Simmons and Marty English have been named co-defensive coordinators at Colorado State…Pat Washington has bene hired at Kentucky’s receivers coach…Tim Rosenbach is now offensive coordinator at Montana…Terry Price has taken over as Texas A&M’s defensive line coach…UAB named John Peterson offensive line coach…Former Yale head coach Tom Williams has become safeties coach at UTEP…Middle Tennessee selected Matt Moore as offensive line and tight ends coach…Toledo has added D. K. McDonald and Bryce Saia as assistant coaches…The NFL Tampa Bay Bucs have hired former LSU linebackers coach Ron Cooper.
Dr. Chico Caldwell has been named director of athletics at Grambling…North Texas Board of Regents approved a contract extension for 11-year director of athletics Rick Villareal with terms to be determined…Joshua Moon was named AD at Northern State…Carson-Newman director of athletics David Barger is retiring after 46 years at the university as a student and administrator..Bob Beeman also is completing his career as AD at Hamline…Joe Giunta is returning to Temple from Cabrini athletics as the Owls’ senior associate AD for administration…Wyoming athletics student academic coordinator Sara Ray will be one of 20 select participants in the upcoming national conference and professional development institute by the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics…The University of Kentucky Athletics Association Board of Directors will dissolve on June 30, 2012, after 67 years. A university advisory committee from the UK Board of Trustees will assume the UKAABOD duties July 1.
Big 12 Conference acting commissioner Chuck Neinas plans to finish his tenure by July 1. His earlier agreement was to complete the assignment by April 1…Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis will head the search committee for Neinas’ replacement. The Big 12 board of directors also noted all that remains for the departures of Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC is approval from the entire Big 12 membership of financial terms, which remain private…The SEC is anticipating making adjustments to conference-game schedules and game sites after the 2012 season…The Big Ten Conference is discussing moving its annual baseball tournament to TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. – site of the NCAA Baseball World Series…Temple has continued its discussions about rejoining the Big East Conference in football –possibly as early as 2012…American Southwest Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committees helped raise $10,598.50 for local charities in the sixth annual Make a Change in 14 Days loose coin collection project this month…Charlotte and Appalachian State have made innovations about joining the proposed Conference USA-Mountain West merger.
The ACC and ProTech Corp. have aligned to produce an online video regarding NCAA recruiting rules education…Stonehill athletics has introduced a new instant smart phone application while Quinnipiac athletics released a similar live app for all its programs…
2011 Heisman Trophy recipient and Baylor QB Robert Griffin III had the fastest 40-yard dash time at (4.41 seconds or 4.38 seconds on one watch) by a quarterback in the NFL Combine over the weekend. It was the third-best time by any QB at the Combine since 2000…Several NFF National Scholar-Athletes attending the sessions last week also posted excellent performances in various skills’ tests…ESPN.com has projected Southern California QB Matt Barkley and Georgia QB Aaron Murray as the two leading candidates for the 2012 Heisman Trophy…Old Dominion DL Ronnie Cameron has been named 2011 Colonial Athletic Association Football Student-Athlete of the Year…RB Adonis Smith has transferred from Northwestern to Wisconsin…Maryland has granted QB Danny O’Brien and two other players permission to leave for Vanderbilt’s program with no transfer restrictions. The ACC and Vanderbilt are holding impromptu investigations to assure there was no tampering prior to the movements.
USF officially named its central athletics building the Lee Roy Selmon Athletics Center after the late Oklahoma great, former USF AD and NFF College Hall of Fame member…Former Georgetown (D.C.) director of athletics Jack Kvancz has been named to the 49th class of the GU Athletics Hall of Fame…University of Indianapolis athletics is naming a residence hall after alumni and barrier-breaking student-athletes George and Ray Crowe…CBS commentator Clark Kellogg will be featured speaker at Ohio Dominican athletics’ banquet on April 7.
Connecticut athletics has been allotted $3 million by an anonymous donor from the Morrone Stadium Enhancement Fund…Wyoming athletics is nearing a $1.1 million goal for facilities’ makeover and is studying a possible return to Division I varsity baseball…South Carolina athletics received appropriations for a $495,000 facility and grounds makeover…Bowling Green athletics received an anonymous donation of $100,000 to its Return to Glory fundraising campaign…The Walmart Foundation made a $50,000 donation to Central Connecticut State athletics…NYU athletics and the university’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee raised $2,600 to help fund research for breast cancer…Missouri State athletics and Collegiate Consulting have signed a three-year ticketing and marketing agreement, and MSU also inked a five-year uniform and equipment pact with adidas…Nebraska football is using an outside consulting group of experts to evaluate personalities as well as on-field talent of potential football recruits…Georgetown athletics held a successful online auction for several collectibles last week at GoHoyas.com.
CoSIDA held national teleconferences dealing with membership attrition issues, staffing, security, privacy and social media in college athletics…NACDA and the John McLendon Foundation are accepting online applications for the 2012 McLendon Minority Scholarship Programs…The National Alliance of Two Year College Athletic Administrators is accepting nominations for the 2012 National Scholar-Athletes Awards on its official website through April 16…Nominations closed last week for the National Student-Athlete Day Giant Steps Awards on April 6 as over 3,000 scholars have received laurels since these events began in 1989.
Key NFF Dates for 2012
Tuesday, Dec. 4 – The 55th Annual NFF Awards Dinner News Conference at the Waldorf=Astoria – New York, N.Y., 9 a.m. (EST), tentative start
Dec. 4 – The 55th Annual NFF Awards Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria – New York. 6:45 p.m.
Dec. 4 – The 23rd Presentation of William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, to the nation’s top senior scholar-athlete at the Waldorf=Astoria, New York
2013 BCS Schedule (All Times TBD)
Jan. 1 – Rose Bowl presented by VIZIO, Pasadena, Calif., ESPN
Jan. 1 – Discover Orange Bowl, Miami, Fla., ESPN
Jan. 2 – Allstate Sugar Bowl, New Orleans, La., ESPN
Jan. 3 – Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, Ariz., ESPN
Jan. 7 – Discover National Championship Game, Miami, ESPN
Jan. 8 – Presentation of the 54th annual NFF MacArthur Bowl, Miami, morning news conference.