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Monday's Chalktalk - March 19, 2012
2011 NFF Campbell Trophy Winner Andrew Rodriguez Named a Finalist for the Prestigious Sullivan Award Andrew Rodriguez, the Army linebacker who claimed the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy from the
Published: 3/19/2012 8:58:00 PM

2011 NFF Campbell Trophy Winner Andrew Rodriguez Named a Finalist for the Prestigious Sullivan Award

Andrew Rodriguez, the Army linebacker who claimed the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy from the National Football Foundation as college football's premier scholar-athlete, has been named one of six finalists for the 82nd James E. Sullivan Award, presented by the Amateur Athletic Union to America's top amateur athlete.

The winner will be honored Tuesday at the prestigious New York Athletic Club during a ceremony, which will start at 7:15 p.m. ET and can be watched live on the internet on the AAU's Facebook page ( or at

To read the full release, please click here.

Mikki Dobski Named Executive Director of College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.

Steven J. Hatchell, president & CEO of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF), announced last week that Mikki Dobski has been named the new executive director of the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.

Dobski, who worked for the City of South Bend from 1975-2011 and most recently as the director of communications and special projects, brings a top-notch skill set to the Hall, having worked extensively in event management and with the local media. In her role, she organized countless special events; managed the communications for the City of South Bend; and coordinated with multiple local, regional and national organizations.

To read the full release, please click here.

Michigan State Faculty Salute presented by Fidelity Investments

Last week, the NFF honored Michigan State Faculty Athletics Representative Michael Kasavana with a plaque, and Fidelity Investments presented the school with a $5,000 check as part of the NFF Faculty Salutes Initiative. The NFF recognized Michigan State for fostering excellence in college athletics as exemplified by 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Kirk Cousins (Michigan State). The NFF Faculty Salutes Initiative is sponsored by Fidelity Investments.

Former FWAA President Furman Bisher Passes Away

FWAA Past President and 1982 FWAA Bert McGrane Award recipient Furman Bisher passed away Sunday, March 18. He was 93. To read a story of Bisher’s life by Alexis Stevens of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, please click here.

TIME OUT: Rule Changes for 2012, Part 3

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.

In two previous columns we have looked at several of the rules changes for 2012, all of which are specifically designed around player safety. This week we finish with the new rules regarding protection for kick returners and for players who try to jump over the “shield” on punt plays.

Interference with the opportunity to catch a kick: For a number of years a player who was in position to catch a punt or kickoff was protected by a two-yard “halo,” and if an opponent got inside this belt before the receiver touched the ball it was a foul for interference. The halo has not been a part of the rules for many years, the only criterion being that the receiver must be given an unmolested opportunity to catch the kick.

This year, the committee decided to restore a modification of the halo rule. This is due to an increase in players on punts timing their coverage to arrive at the receiver at the same time as the ball and “blowing up” the receiver, who is in a defenseless situation. The new rule is this: before a kick receiver touches the ball, an opponent may not enter an area defined by the width of the receiver’s shoulders within one yard in front of him. Violation of this protected space is a foul for kick-catch interference and carries a fifteen-yard penalty.

Leaping over the punter-shield: Over the last several years there has been an increase in punting teams using a protective “shield” - two or three players a few yards in front of the punter. As members of the defense try to block the kick, players often try to vault over the shield, resulting in injuries upon coming to the ground on the head or upper back. The rules committee has now made it illegal for a player of the receiving team to leave his feet in an attempt to leap over a player in the shield. This is a personal foul that carries a 15-yard penalty at the previous spot. It is still legal for a player to jump straight up to try to block the kick, and it is okay to try to jump between players. But leaping directly over a shield player is no longer allowed.


2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete John Dowd (Navy) has been named an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient. He was joined by NFF Campbell Trophy semifinalists Ben Boothby (Northern Iowa), Bryan Kariya (BYU) and Briggs Orsbon (Ball State).

NFF Board Member T. Boone Pickens will participate in a Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics conference this week.

Miami (Ohio) has trademarked the term "Cradle of Coaches" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. College Football Hall of Fame coaches who held the top job at Miami include Sid Gillman, Woody Hayes, George Little, Ara Parseghian, and Bo Schembechler. Hall of Fame coaches who played at Miami include Carmen Cozza, Earl “Red” Blaik, and Parseghian. 1989 NFF Gold Medal Winner Paul Brown is also among those inducted into the Cradle.

NFL Network and ESPN3 will cover the Pro Day of 2008 NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete Andrew Luck (Stanford) on Thursday, March 22 at 2 p.m. ET.

College Football Hall of Famer Bill Redell (Occidental (Calif.) College) has announced his retirement as the head football coach at Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, Calif. Redell started the program from scratch and led the school to seven Southern Section titles. He retires with a career mark of 233-65-3.

2008 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Chase Daniel (Missouri) has signed a one-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.

Eight College Football Hall of Famers are up for a vote to join Robert Griffin III (Baylor) on the cover of EA Sports’ NCAA Football 13.

1999 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Dr. William Broussard (Northwestern State) has been named the athletics director at Southern.

College Football Hall of Famer Joe Theismann (Notre Dame) has been announced as a spokesman for Bizzingo, Inc., a business-to-business social media company.

Campbell Trophy finalist Joe Holland of Purdue is the NFF's Scholar-Athlete of the Day, presented by Fidelity Investments. Check daily at to see which Campbell Trophy candidate is the Scholar-Athlete of the Day.

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

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

The NFF is in search of interns. To find information on the internship program, please click here.


Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times recently highlighted great work done by NFF chapters in Southern California. . . . Congratulations to NFF Gene Casey/New Haven (Conn.) Chapter member Vincent Aitro, a 50-year member of the NFF and will turn 100 later this month. He will be recognized at the chapter's scholar-athlete banquet on March 30. . . . Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien will speak at the NFF Central Pennsylvania Chapter banquet on Sunday. . . . The NFF San Gabriel Valley (Calif.) Chapter has been resurrected and will hold its first dinner on March 27. . . . Chapter banquets taking place this week include: the San Fernando Valley (Calif.) Chapter on Tuesday as well as the Central Pennsylvania Chapter and the National Capital (Va.) Chapter on Sunday,



Northwestern and Stanford have finalized plans for a home-and-home football series to be played in 2015 and 2016. The series comes in addition to the four-game set the two schools announced last April, scheduled from 2019 to 2022. . . . South Alabama at Texas – San Antonio has been moved from Saturday, Sept. 1 to Thursday, Aug. 30. . . . . Notre Dame has announced kickoff times for its 2012 home slate, highlighted by 7:30 p.m. ET kicks against Michigan and Miami, Fla. All home games will be broadcast by NBC. . . . Arizona will play its spring game at Kino Stadium in Tucson, Ariz., due to construction on Arizona Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. ET on April 14.


Click here to see a full listing of televised spring football games. . . . Memphis Commercial Appeal writer and FWAA past president Ron Higgins has been selected to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. . . . N.C. State has signed a new 10-year multimedia rights agreement with Wolfpack Sports Properties, LLC, a newly formed joint venture of Capitol Broadcasting Company and Learfield Sports. The new partnership was announced last week by NC State’s Director of Athletics and NFF Board Member Deborah A. Yow.

Community Service

The Louisville football team visited Indiana towns that were devastated by a recent tornado. . . . The Nebraska athletic department has partnered with an NU brain researcher to study how the brain recovers from injury. The Nebraska Board of Regents has approved a $5 million athletic performance laboratory to be located in Memorial Stadium, which will be equipped to asses and study brain injuries. . . . The third annual Illinois “Illini Jock Jams” event raised over $16,000 for local, national and international charities.


The family of former Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane has provided a lead gift to help fund and name a new on-campus football stadium at Baylor. . . . The College at Brockport (N.Y.) has announced a $2.2 million renovation of Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium which will include a new, synthetic turf to replace the natural grass, the installation of lights and the replacement of wooden bleachers. The capacity will remain at 10,000, which stands as the largest football stadium in NCAA Division III.


One-fourth of all goods sold through licensed sports apparel stores in 2012 will be college-branded according to MarketWatch. . . . Boston College, under the leadership of NFF Board Member Gene DiFilippo, has earned the top seed of the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. The Eagles open play versus Air Force on Saturday, March 24 at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU. . . . Former South Carolina football player Duce Staley has been elected to the State of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame. . . . LSU football coach Les Miles, along with LSU athletics director Joe Alleva contributed $1,000 in an effort to allow LSU students to gain free admission to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, which started on Sunday at LSU’s Maravich Assembly Center. . . . Utah State head football coach Gary Andersen has been named a candidate for Coach of the Year Award for the Utah Governor’s State of Sports Awards, as selected by Utah’s sports media and sports industry leaders.


Former Troy player and Howard College (Ala.) coach Herman “Bubba” Scott passed away Sunday, March 11. He was 84. . . . Former Auburn offensive lineman Wayne Frazier passed away Sunday, March 11. He was 73.

Spring Football Primer: Week Six

The NFF takes a look at each Football Bowl Subdivision Conference program as they head into spring football, noting when each school opens spring football, plays its annual spring game, and key coaching positions. This week, the Big East and WAC are the focus of the Spring Football Primer.

Big East

Spring football starts: March 1 Spring game: April 14
Head coach: Butch Jones Offensive coordinator: Mike Bajakian Defensive coordinator: John Jancek

Spring football starts: March 20 Spring game: April 14
Head coach: Paul Pasqualoni Offensive coordinator: George DeLeone Defensive coordinator: Don Brown

Spring football starts: March 21 Spring game: April 14
Head coach: Charlie Strong Offensive coordinator: Shawn Watson Defensive coordinator: Vance Bedford

Spring football starts: March 15 Spring game: April 14
Head coach: Paul Chryst Offensive coordinator: Joe Rudolph Defensive coordinator: Dave Huxtable

Spring football starts: March 27 Spring game: April 28
Head coach: Kyle Flood Offensive coordinator: Dave Brock Defensive coordinator: Robb Smith

South Florida
Spring football starts: March 21 Spring game: April 21
Head coach: Skip Holtz Offensive coordinator: Todd Fitch Defensive coordinator: Chris Cosh

Spring football starts: March 20 Spring game: April 21
Head coach: Doug Marrone Offensive coordinator: Nathaniel Hackett Defensive coordinator: Scott Shafer

Spring football starts: March 12 Spring game: April 14
Head coach: Steve Addazio Offensive coordinator: Ryan Day Defensive coordinator: Chuck Heater


Spring football starts: March 22 Spring game: April 20
Head coach: Robb Akey Defensive coordinator: Mark Criner

Louisiana Tech
Spring football starts: March 16 Spring game: April 14
Head coach: Sonny Dykes Offensive coordinator: Tony Franklin Defensive coordinator: Tommy Spangler

New Mexico State
Spring football starts: March 29 Spring game: April 28
Head coach: DeWayne Walker Offensive coordinator: Jerry McManus Defensive coordinator: David Elson

San Jose State
Spring football starts: March 8 Spring game: April 13
Head coach: Mike MacIntyre Defensive coordinator: Kent Baer

Texas – San Antonio
Spring football starts: March 19 Spring game: April 15
Head coach: Larry Coker Offensive coordinator: Kevin Brown Defensive coordinator: Neal Neathery

Texas State
Spring football starts: Feb. 25 Spring game: March 31
Head coach: Dennis Franchione Offensive coordinator: Mike Schultz Defensive coordinator: Craig Naivar

Utah State
Spring football starts: March 27 Spring game: April 28
Head coach: Gary Andersen Offensive coordinator: Matt Wells Defensive coordinator: Dave Aranda

Support the NFF

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2012 Key NFF Dates

May 15, 2012 - Announcement of the 2012 Football Bowl Subdivision inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame - New York City

May 22, 2012 - Announcement of the 2012 Divisional Inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame - Dallas, Texas

July 20-21, 2012 - College Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival - South Bend, Indiana

Sept. 27, 2012 - Announcement of the 2012 Campbell Trophy Semifinalists - Dallas, Texas

Oct. 25, 2012 - Announcement of the 2012 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class presented by Fidelity Investments and Campbell Trophy Finalists - Dallas, Texas

Dec. 4, 2012 - 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner - Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, New York City

Dec. 4, 2012 - The 23rd Presentation of Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, to the nation's top scholar-athlete at the Waldorf=Astoria - New York, N.Y.

Jan. 2, 2013 - National Hall of Fame Salute at the Allstate Sugar Bowl - New Orleans, La.

Jan. 7, 2013 - Presentation of the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award - Miami, Fla.

Jan. 8, 2013 - MacArthur Bowl Presentation to the BCS National Champion - Miami, Fla.

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.

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

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

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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