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Tuesday's Chalktalk - December 13, 2011
National Football Foundation Concludes a Celebration for the Ages The 54th National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner attracted a record crowd of more than 1,600 people last week to the Wal
Published: 12/13/2011 7:30:00 PM

National Football Foundation Concludes a Celebration for the Ages

The 54th National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner attracted a record crowd of more than 1,600 people last week to the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City.

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates was presented the Gold Medal, the organization's highest honor, and Andrew Rodriguez, a standout linebacker from Army with 4.14 GPA and ranked third out of 1,052 cadets in his class, claimed the coveted William V. Campbell Trophy as the nation's top scholar-athlete.

The event notched the induction of the 2011 College Football Hall of Fame Class from the Football Bowl Subdivision, bringing the total players in the Hall of Fame to 900, or less than .0002 percent of those who have played the game. The number of college coaches in the hall now stands at 194. The 2011 College Football Hall of Fame Class included Carlos Alvarez (Florida), Doug English (Texas), Bill Enyart (Oregon State), Eddie George (Ohio State), Marty Lyons (Alabama), Russell Maryland (Miami, Fla.), Deion Sanders (Florida State), Jake Scott (Georgia), Will Shields (Nebraska), the late Sandy Stephens (Minnesota), Darryl Talley (West Virginia), Clendon Thomas (Oklahoma), Rob Waldrop (Arizona), Gene Washington (Michigan State) and coaches Lloyd Carr (Michigan) and Fisher DeBerry (Air Force).

Dr. Archie Roberts, the pioneering heart surgeon and author, accepted the NFF Distinguished American Award. Roberts returned to the stage, having been honored in 1964 as an NFF National Scholar-Athlete from Columbia. CBS Lead Play-by-Play Announcer Verne Lundquist and ESPN/ABC Host & Play-by-Play Announcer Brent Musburger shared the limelight as co-recipients of the NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award in recognition of their role in enhancing the enjoyment of the game for millions of fans.

Ted Ruta, the recipient of the Outstanding Football Official Award, and North Carolina's Woody Durham, the recipient of the Chris Schenkel Award for excellence in broadcasting, rounded out the 2011 NFF Major Awards honorees while Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters was recognized with an NFF Legacy Award for his support of the NFF and its mission.

The NFF honored the 16 members of the 2011 class of NFF National Scholar-Athletes, presented by Fidelity Investments, which included Drew Butler (Georgia), Kirk Cousins (Michigan State), Micah Davis (Delta State, Miss.), John Dowd (Navy), Yaser Elqutub (Northwestern State), Chris Ganious (South Dakota), Clay Garcia (Colorado School of Mines), Chandler Harnish (Northern Illinois), Tysyn Hartman (Kansas State), Chaz Hine (South Florida), Joe Holland (Purdue), Jared Karstetter (Washington State), Andrew Rodriguez (Army), Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M), Patrick Witt (Yale) and Michael Zweifel (Dubuque, Iowa). Each received an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship with Rodriguez, collecting an extra $7,000 as the Campbell Trophy honoree. A total of $300,000 was awarded in post-graduate scholarships.

More than 50 current Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches attended along with 45 returning Hall of Fame inductees. ESPN's Rece Davis emceed the event. Presenters at the dinner included Gene Corrigan, Jerry Jones, Jack Ford, Archie Griffin, Jon F. Hanson, Steve Hatchell, Archie Manning, T. Boone Pickens, Donna Shalala, Grant Teaff, and George Weiss. Daniel Rodriguez returned to sing "God Bless America" to close the evening.

Earlier Tuesday, longtime Texas sports information director Bill Little emceed NFF Annual Awards Dinner Press Conference, which was webcast on ESPN3 for the first time. The ESPN/DirecTV Bus returned to conduct interviews with Hall of Famers and Scholar-Athletes in front of the Waldorf=Astoria. College Football Hall of Famer Don McPherson emceed the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, while NFF Board Member and CLC Founder & Chairman Bill Battle and ACC Associate Commissioner Amy Yakola assisted in the presentation before a crowd of 150 attendees.

On Monday evening, NFF Chairman Archie Manning, NFF Board Member and Campbell Trophy namesake Bill Campbell and NFF Board Member Ray Anderson addressed the 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athletes and their guests at the NFF's Scholar-Athlete Reception.

ESPN3 carried the events while XOS Digital streamed the events to the NFF's website. Sponsors involved with the day's events include DragonFly Athletics, Fidelity Investments, HealthSouth, Herff Jones, iSix, Liberty Mutual, the NASDAQ OMX, Spielman Koenigsberg & Parker, and XOS Digital.

The National Football Foundation and Fidelity Investments® Launch Faculty Salutes Initiative

The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced last week that it has launched a new initiative, sponsored by Fidelity Investments®, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans in higher education1, that will honor the significant contributions of faculty athletics representatives across the nation.

Fidelity, which is also the presenting sponsor of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, has taken on a leadership role with the new initiative as a natural extension of its ongoing support of the scholar-athlete ideal and commitment to higher education nationwide. As part of the new initiative, the honorees will be recognized, and an $80,000 donation ($5,000 per school) from Fidelity will be made to support the academic support services for student-athletes at each school.

To read the full release, please click here.

Special NFF Salute During Army-Navy Game

The National Football Foundation conducted a special salute between the first and second quarters during Saturday's Army-Navy Game honoring NFF National Scholar-Athletes John Dowd of Navy and Andrew Rodriguez of Army. NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell and NFF COO Matthew Sign presented Andrew's parents, General David and Ginny Rodriguez and John's parents, Tom and Kathy Dowd, with their sons' official scholar-athlete plaques during the event. The presentation was shown during the second quarter of CBS's broadcast, for which 2011 NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football honoree Verne Lundquist provided play-by-play. Rodriguez was named the 22nd winner of the NFF's William V. Campbell Trophy on Tuesday night.

Several College Football Hall of Famers attended Saturday's game in Landover, Md., including Randy Cross (UCLA), Chet Moeller (Navy) and Roger Staubach (Navy). NFF Board Members at the game included Gene Corrigan, Jack Ford and Staubach. Staubach appeared on the CBS Sports Network Tailgate Show, which also featured a replay of Rodriguez's Campbell Trophy acceptance speech and an interview with his parents. The broadcast of the game included a clip of Rodriguez accepting the Campbell Trophy while highlighting the accomplishments of Rodriguez and Dowd. Thursday's ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show also paid tribute to Rodriguez for winning the Campbell Trophy. USA Today also featured a poignant column by Mike Lopresti leading in to Saturday's tilt.

The NFF would like to thank CBS for all of the great coverage during the Army-Navy game this year, especially Mike Aresco, Harold Bryant, Craig Silver, Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, and Tracy Wolfson. We would also like to thank the staffs at Army and Navy, including Boo Corrigan, Bob Beretta, Brian Gunning, and Rich DeMarco from Army, and Chet Gladchuck, Scott Strasemeier, and Kris Whitacre Morgenthaler from Navy.

Liberty Mutual Announces 25 Finalists for Coach of the Year Award

Liberty Mutual Insurance announced the the 25 finalists for the 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, the leading college football-coaching honor that celebrates coaches for their sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence, and for giving back to their teams, schools and communities.

The 25 finalists (10 from the Football Bowl Subdivision and five each from the Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and Division III) were determined as a result of online fan voting at and through an objective scoring model endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame.

2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Finalists (listed alphabetically)

Football Bowl Subdivision:

Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State University
Brady Hoke, University of Michigan
Mark Hudspeth, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Mike London, University of Virginia
Les Miles, Louisiana State University
Bobby Petrino, University of Arkansas
Mark Richt, University of Georgia
Nick Saban, University of Alabama
Bill Snyder, Kansas State University
Dabo Swinney, Clemson University

Football Championship Subdivision:
Rob Ambrose, Towson University (Md.)
Rob Ash, Montana State University
Tom Gilmore, College of the Holy Cross (Mass.)
Jerry Moore, Appalachian State University
Chris Mussman, University of North Dakota

Division II:
Tim Beck, Pittsburg State University (Kan.)
Bill Maskill, Midwestern State University (Texas)
Peter Rossomando, University of New Haven (Conn.)
Scott Underwood, St. Cloud State University (Minn.)
John Wristen, Colorado State University-Pueblo

Division III:
Glenn Caruso, University of St. Thomas (Minn.)
Keith Emery, Western New England University
Steve Johnson, Bethel University (Minn.)
Lance Leipold, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Stan Zweifel, University of Dubuque (Iowa)

TIME OUT: Bowl Game Officials - How They Are Assigned

EXCLUSIVELY to Monday's Chalktalk, Rogers Redding, the national coordinator of College Football Officiating, provides insights about rules changes and the mindset of college football referees. The CFO is the national professional organization for all football officials who work games at the collegiate level.

The thirty-five bowl games, including the BCS National Championship Game, provide an exciting close to the football season. Often I am asked, how are the officials chosen for the bowls?

Officials assigned to the bowl games are those who work games for the eleven Division I conferences in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Within these are the six Automatic Qualifier (AQ) conferences that place teams in the five BCS bowls: Fiesta, Rose, Orange, Sugar, and the championship game. The AQ conferences comprise the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC-12 and SEC; only officials from these conferences are assigned to the BCS bowl games. For the remaining thirty games the officials come from the AQ and non-AQ conference staffs.

Two questions arise: with thirty-five games and eleven conferences, how many games are allocated to each conference? And what determines which bowl games a given conference will be assigned?

Each conference is assigned to officiate at least one game, and for many years no conference has officiated more than four in a given year. Beyond that, the number of games a conference officiates is loosely based on the number of teams in that conference which received bowl bids the previous year. In general a conference would have one officiating crew for every two teams in bowl games the previous year. For example, if a conference had eight teams in bowls one year, then the next season that conference would work four bowl games

The fundamental principle that guides which conference officiates which games is that the crew must not be from either conference of the participating teams. For instance, if a Sun Belt team is playing a team from the Mid-American Conference, then the officiating crew will not be from either conference.

The conference coordinators of officials are charged with the responsibility of recommending crews for each bowl game to the National Coordinator of Officials. Each is an "all-star" crew, typically not one that has been together all season. These are the conference's top officials. They are recommended on the basis of such factors as their ranking within their conference, the number of high-profile games they have officiated, any previous bowl-game experience, and experience in officiating games involving nationally ranked teams. Being selected for a bowl game is certainly the goal of every college football official.


Ten of the 16 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athletes were named Academic All-Americans by the College Sports Information Directors of America last week.

2008 NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete Andrew Luck (Stanford) has won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.

2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Drew Butler (Georgia) was named an All-SEC Honorable Mention honoree by the Associated Press last week.

2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Kirk Cousins (Michigan State) was chosen as a Second Team All-Big Ten selection by the league's coaches last week. Fellow NFF National Scholar-Athlete Joe Holland was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten by the coaches and AP.

2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Yaser Elqutub (Northwestern State) was named a captain of the 2011 AFCA Good Works team last week.

2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Tysyn Hartman (Kansas State) was named Second Team All-Big 12 by the league's coaches last week.

College Football Hall of Famer Tommy McDonald (Oklahoma) has been named the 2011 PwC Doak Walker Legends Award recipient. He will be honored at the Doak Walker Presentation Award Banquet on Feb. 17, 2012 in Dallas. McDonald becomes the 12th College Football Hall of Famer to receive the PwC Doak Walker Legends Award since it was first awarded in 1998.

College Football Hall of Famer Floyd Little (Syracuse) has been named the 2011 recipient of the Walter Camp Football Foundation Distinguished American Award.

College Football Hall of Famers Fred Biletnikoff (Florida State), Ray Guy (Southern Mississippi), Mark May (Pittsburgh), Jim McMahon (BYU) and Herschel Walker served as presenters at Thursday's ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show.

College Football Hall of Famer Eddie George (Ohio State) will participate in the 2011 Tostitos Fiesta in the Square on Friday, Dec. 16 at Times Square in New York City. Proceeds from the event will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Campbell Trophy semifinalist Cody Haffly of Wingate (N.C.) is the NFF's Scholar-Athlete of the Day, presented by Fidelity Investments. Check daily at to see which Campbell Trophy candidate is that day's Scholar-Athlete of the Day.

This Week in College Football History, Week of Dec. 12: In the second and final Gotham Bowl at Yankee Stadium, College Football Hall of Fame coach Bob Devaney led Nebraska to a win over College Football Hall of Fame coach Andy Gustafson and Miami (Fla.). To see video of this game and read the full entry, please click here.

The FBS television schedule, including broadcast teams, will be posted this Thursday on the NFF website,

You can keep up with the NFF on Twitter at and on Facebook.

Stay involved with the game. Become an NFF member here.


1960 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Dr. Alan Rozycki (Dartmouth) has joined the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association.

Maryland head coach Randy Edsall has joined the National Football Foundation as a lifetime member.


The NFF Chicago Metro Chapter awards ceremony will take place Monday, February 20 from 3:30-6pm at Halas Hall. About 45 spots remain for $150/person at NFF Board Member and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany will receive the chapter's Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award. The NFF Mental Toughness Awards will be presented to Campbell Trophy finalist and Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish and Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa, a Campbell Trophy semifinalist. At least $15,000 in college scholarships will be awarded to local high school scholar-athletes. Northern Illinois athletics director Jeff Compher, College Football Hall of Famer Jim Covert (Pittsburgh), Northern Illinois head coach Dave Doeren, College Football Hall of Famer Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), College Football Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks (Miami, Fla.) and College Football Hall of Famer John Lattner (Notre Dame) are slated to participate. 2011 Tostitos BCS National Championship Game referee Bill LeMonnier, Northwestern athletics director Jim Phillips, Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith, Illinois State head coach Brock Spack and more are expected to attend. . . . The NFF Northern California Chapter will hold its annual banquet on Feb. 23 at the San Francisco Airport Marriott.



East Carolina will host Appalachian State on Sept. 8, 2012. . . . Hawaii will host BYU in on Sept. 28, 2013 and Nov. 7, 2015. The Warriors will travel to Provo, Utah on Oct. 18, 2014. . . . BYU will host Washington State on Sept. 1, 2012. The Cougars will travel to Pullman, Wash. in 2013. . . . Nebraska will host Florida Atlantic in 2014. . . . Pittsburgh will host Youngstown State on Sept. 1, 2012.


A Game of Honor will debut on Showtime on Thursday, Dec. 21 at 10 p.m. ET. The documentary film chronicling the Army-Navy game will feature footage shot at the 54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner. Find information on the film here. . . . CBS Sports' SEC on CBS was the highest-rated regular-season college football package for the third consecutive year in 2011. The package averaged a 4.2 rating for the season.

Community Service

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl announced last week that the Idaho Grower Shippers Association will donate three potatoes to The Idaho Foodbank for each fan at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.


Tulane has announced a $70 million fundraising campaign to build a new $60 million on-campus football stadium and provide $10 million in additional support for the Green Wave football program. . . . Miami (Fla.) held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for the Theodore G. Schwartz and Todd G. Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence. The center will hold a student-athlete academic center, sports medicine facility, football locker room and a gallery of champions.


The 2011 college football awards were announced last week, highlighted by Robert Griffin III of Baylor winning the Heisman Trophy. Find all the 2011 winners, including past winners, on the NCAA College Football Awards page on . . . The Football Writers Association of America has revealed its 2011 All-America Team. . . . Alabama athletics director Mal Moore, formers Alabama players E.J. Junior and Charley Pell and former Iowa player and Birmingham native Andre Tippett have been inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.


Former Harvard head coach Joe Restic passed away Thursday, Dec. 8. He was 85.

2011-12 Key NFF Dates

Dec. 16, 2011 - NCAA Division III Football Championship Game - Salem, Va. (ESPN)

Dec. 17, 2011 - NCAA Division II Football Championship Game - Florence, Ala. (ESPN)

Dec. 17, 2011 - NAIA Football Championship Game, Rome, Ga. (CBS Sports Network)

Jan. 3, 2012 - National Hall of Fame Salute at the Allstate Sugar Bowl - New Orleans, La. (ESPN)

Jan. 7, 2012 - FCS National Championship Game, Frisco, Texas (ESPN)

Jan. 9, 2012 - Allstate BCS National Championship Game - New Orleans, La. (ESPN)

Jan. 10, 2012 - Presentation of the NFF's MacArthur Bowl - New Orleans, La.

Dec. 4, 2012 - 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner

NFF Information

Advertising in NFF publications will put your organization in front of key decision makers in football including key administrators, coaches, players, former players, as well as other key sports business executives throughout the year. To inquire about the print advertising opportunities available to your organization, please contact Bret Krift with IMG College at 859-226-4406 or

Become a fan of the National Football Foundation on Facebook - Upload your game day photos, check out pictures of the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, and chat with other college football fans.

For more information on the NFF and college football, including announcements from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and NCAA Football, please visit

Sign up for "This Week in NCAA Football" at

The 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner will be held Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, at New York City's Waldorf=Astoria. For more ticket information, please contact NFF Director of National Events Will Rudd at 1-800-486-1865 or via email at


The NFF would like to thank correspondent Bo Carter for his contributions to this report.

NFF Chalktalk items are welcome, and should be submitted to

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