National Football Foundation

News Detail

News and notes of interest for the college football community from the past week.
Published: 7/23/2013 1:58:00 PM

FSU’s Gene Deckerhoff Named 2013 NFF Chris Schenkel Award Recipient

The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced that Florida State University broadcaster Gene Deckerhoff will be the recipient of the 2013 NFF Chris Schenkel Award. Presented annually since 1996, the award recognizes individuals who have had long, distinguished careers broadcasting college football with direct ties to a specific university.

“Gene Deckerhoff’s broadcasting career with the Seminoles has spanned more than thirty years, and during this time, his voice has become synonymous with one of the greatest college football traditions in the country,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “We are pleased to honor Gene with the Chris Schenkel Award as a tribute to all of his accomplishments.”

NFF Chapter Network Posts Record Breaking Year

The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced that its chapter network distributed more than $1 million in scholarships during its record-breaking 2013 award banquet season, which runs from January to July. Covering more than 4,800 high schools and 500,000 student-athletes, the NFF chapters selected 3,500 football players, who on average boasted a 3.7 GPA, for recognition as the best and brightest for their combined excellence on the gridiron, in the classroom and as leaders in the community.

NFF chapter banquets by the numbers:

  • More than $1 million distributed in 2013
  • 3,500 high school student-athletes honored in 2013
  • 41 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches in attendance in 2013
  • 49 Divisional head coaches in attendance in 2013
  • 49 Members of the College Football Hall of Fame in attendance in 2013
  • 22 Directors of Athletics in attendance in 2013
  • 35,000 in attendance
  • 47 states and 120 chapters

A NFF Big Thanks to the SEC, Big 12 and Sporting News

The National Football Foundation sends a big thank you to SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby for allowing us to address the press during their media days. We truly appreciate the opportunity to tout the NFF initiatives that promote the good in the game on your national platforms. The NFF would also like to thank the Sporting News for running an NFF advertisement on its tablet application, which allows fans to create a personalized experience to track their favorite sports teams.

Hall of Fame Enshrinement Aug. 28

The National Football Foundation will enshrine the 2012 FBS College Football Hall of Fame Class as well as the 2013 Divisional Hall of Fame Class on Aug. 28 in Atlanta. A press event will be held at the construction site of the new Hall of Fame, with enshrinement at a dinner banquet that evening at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center.

The Hall of Famers include Charles Alexander (LSU), Otis Armstrong (Purdue), Steve Bartkowski (California), Hal Bedsole (Southern California), Dave Casper (Notre Dame), coach Frank Cignetti (West Virginia, Indiana [Pa.]), Ty Detmer (BYU), coach James “Boots” Donnelly (Middle Tennessee State), coach Jess Dow (Southern Connecticut State), coach Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee), coach Jimmy Johnson (Oklahoma State, Miami [Fla.]), Shelby Jordan (Washington University in St. Louis [MO]), Tommy Kramer (Rice), Joe Micchia (Westminster College [Pa.]), Art Monk (Syracuse), Greg Myers (Colorado State), Jonathan Ogden (UCLA), Gabe Rivera (Texas Tech), Art Shell (University of Maryland Eastern Shore), Mark Simoneau (Kansas State), coach R.C. Slocum (Texas A&M), Scott Thomas (Air Force), Jeff Wittman (Ithaca College [N.Y.]) and John Wooten (Colorado).

College Football Hall of Fame Legacy Brick Campaign

The new College Football Hall of Fame, currently under construction in the heart of Atlanta and scheduled to open in the fall of 2014, has announced a legacy brick campaign.  As part of this exclusive, limited-run opportunity, college football fans can purchase a commemorative brick with a personalized message that will forever be part of this historic 94,256-square-foot attraction.  Prices begin at $100, and individuals can learn more about the multiple purchase options with potential tax deductible benefits by visiting or calling 1-855-HOF-BRIX (463-2749).



ESPN Films' "The Book of Manning" debuts Sept. 24, featuring NFF Chairman Archie Manning and his sons, 1997 NFF Campbell Trophy winner Peyton Manning and 2003 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Eli Manning. The film, narrated by actor John Goodman, details the sudden loss of Archie's father and how it continues to impact the way he lives his life and the influence it had on him and wife Olivia raising their three sons.

Nebraska's expansion of Memorial Stadium will include installing new FieldTurf that will bear the name of College Football Hall of Fame coach Tom Osborne, who served as the head coach of the Huskers from 1973-97.

2013 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Don Trull accepted a proclamation from the Houston City Council that declared Wednesday, July 17, 2013, as Don Trull Day in the city. The presentation took place July 17 during the NFF Touchdown Club of Houston's luncheon with more than 350 people in attendance.

2013 College Football Hall of Fame inductee and 1996 Campbell Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel and the Desire Street Ministries charity will host the Third Annual Desire Cup golf tournament Nov. 1 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort Oak Marsh Golf Course in Florida. Proceeds will help rebuild Desire Street’s New Orleans location.  Fellow Hall of Famers Kevin Butler (Georgia) and Emmitt Smith (Florida) are among those expected to compete. To register, click here.

College Football Hall of Fame coach Earle Bruce (Tampa, Iowa State, Ohio State, Northern Iowa, Colorado State) spoke at the Bowsher Log House Museum in Cridersville, Ohio, about the American Civil War. A former history teacher, Bruce remains passionate about the Civil War.

College Football Hall of Famers Jay Novacek (Wyoming) and Will Shields (Nebraska) along with NFF Campbell Trophy Winner Chad Pennington (Marshall) and NFF National Scholar-Athlete Keith Elias (Princeton) will participate in a newly created NFL Legends Program that will help former NFL players connect with each other, their former teams and the NFL.

1981 NFF National Scholar-Athlete and current West Virginia Athletics Director Oliver Luck will present at the NFL two-day youth summit, taking place this week in Canton, Ohio.

NFF Board Member Gene Corrigan, who served as the ACC commissioner from 1987-97, spoke with David Jones of the Patriot News about how Penn State almost joined the ACC in 1990 instead of the Big Ten.

1999 NFF National Scholar-Athlete William Broussard (Northwestern State), the current athletic director at Southern University, shared his thoughts with Personal Player Development Magazine on the challenges he has faced since taking on his current role.

College Football Hall of Fame inductees Vince Dooley (Georgia), Pat Dye (Auburn), Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee), Jake Gibbs (Ole Miss), R.C. Slocum (Texas A&M), Gene Stallings (Texas A&M, Alabama) and Jerry Stovall (LSU) will participate in the SEC BeachFest Aug. 15-18 in Gulf Shores, Ala.

Central Florida, Dixie State (UT), South Dakota and Washington State have joined the NFF as an NFF Institutional Academic Member. Coming off an impressive year of support, the Institutional Academic Membership Program allows the NFF to greatly enhance the power of football's collective voice while actively building a stronger national platform for the game with community leaders, educators, and the media. The program is open to all football-playing institutions at every level of college football. Email Ron Dilatush at to learn how your school can get involved. 


Nomination forms for the 2013 NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete program were sent to chapter contacts June 10. Please return all nomination forms to Ron Dilatush by Aug. 9

The NFF Bill Dooley/Triangle Chapter will host its 11th Annual Pigskin Preview July 25 at the Embassy Suites in Raleigh/Durham. Coaches David Cutcliffe (Duke), Dave Doeren (NC State), Larry Fedora (UNC), Henry Frazier (North Carolina Central) and Ruffin McNeill (East Carolina) will participate in a panel discussion and a question-and-answer session.

The five NFF chapters in Indiana have joined together to select the NFF State of Indiana Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Ryan Spesard of Carroll High School claimed honors for 2012-13, making him the first recipient of the new annual award…

NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter President Gerald Brence recently had his first novel published titled, “Ox in the Culvert”…

NFF Delaware Valley (N.J.) Chapter President Eric Hamilton announced his retirement as the head coach of College of New Jersey after 37 years…

The NFF Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter will present former Rice linebacker O.J. Brigance with the 48th Annual Touchdowner of the Year Award on August 14 at the J.W. Marriott in Houston.

The State of Maine Chapter’s Seventh Annual Kickoff Luncheon is scheduled for Aug. 1 at the Howard Johnson Conference Center. Head coaches from the six football colleges in Maine are scheduled to attend; Dave Caputi (Bowdoin), Jack Cosgrove (Maine), Mark Harriman (Bates), Chris McKenney (Maine Maritime), Jon Michaeles (Colby) and Gabby Price (Husson). Contact Jack Flynn, 207.799.8441, for reservations and additional details.

The St. Louis/Tom Lombardo Chapter will host its annual Paul Savage, Sr., Memorial Golf Tournament at the Columbia Golf Club (Ill.) Sept. 15.


New Football Schools

Lyon College (Ark.) named Kirk Kelley the school's first football coach since 1951. Lyon, which recently announced the return of football, has slated 2014 as a developmental year, culminating in intercollegiate play in 2015… Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman profiled the meteoric rise of the University of Texas-San Antonio football program… Rhiannon Walker of The Oklahoman wrote about Southern Nazarene's (Okla.) move to become a Division II football program...


Nebraska and Cincinnati have agreed to a future home-and-home series, playing in Lincoln on Sept. 12, 2020 and Cincinnati on Sept. 13, 2025... Northern Illinois will play Nebraska at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln in 2017, 2019, 2021 and 2023...


The SEC announced its early-season football television schedule with game times and television networks for the first three weeks of the season... Arizona announced that Fox Sports 910 will become the new radio home for all Wildcat football and men’s basketball games in the Phoenix market… The CAA announced the 13 games set to air this season on the NBC Sports Regional Networks… Root Sports and the Mountain West Conference announced the network will televise 10 live football games in 2013…The Mountain West Network announced its initial digital telecast schedule for the 2013 football season…

Community Service

Several LSU football players participated in an event with Focusing on College and Unlimited Success (FOCUS), a college immersion program for high-achieving high school freshman… Several Tulsa players visited the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which included coach Bill Blankenship sharing his story of overcoming non-hodgkin's lymphoma…

Awards and Honors

The Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame will induct former Badger football players Jamar Feltcher and David Greenwood Aug. 30... The Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame will induct former Seminole football players Sebastian Janikowski, Jamal Reynolds and Sammie Smith Sept. 13... Former running back Gary Magee will be inducted into the Southern University Football Hall of Fame Sept. 27… Former Arkansas football players Barry Foster, Don Christian, Dickey Morton, and Buddy Sutton have been named as members of the 2013 class of the UA Sports Hall of Honor...

Liberty wide receiver Pat Kelly was voted the 2012-13 Big South Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year… AutoZone Liberty Bowl announced that NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip will receive its Distinguished Citizen Award and serve as the guest of honor at the kickoff event of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Golf Classic July 21 at the Hilton Memphis Hotel…

The members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) continued unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period through, July 19. The announcements concluded this week with the release of the Biletnikoff Award,  Davey O'Brien Award, Doak Walker Award, and the Walter Camp Award. AFCA announced the candidates for the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.


Ole Miss posted a video on the improvements being made to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and the school’s indoor practice facility… Crown College (St. Bonifacius, Minn.) will open KleinBank Stadium this fall, a $2.4 million project that will seat over 1,300 with a press box and state-of-the-art synthetic field… Hendrix College (Ark.) received a $1 million gift from the Roy and Christine Sturgis Trust of Dallas to support the completion of the new 1,500-seat Young-Wise Memorial Stadium… North Alabama will break ground before the fall semester on a new strength facility that will more than double the existing space that is designated for strength and conditioning…


The ACC announced its partnerships with seven football bowl games which will be effective for the six years of postseason play following the 2014 through 2019 seasons… The Big Ten and the Detroit Lions announced a six-year bowl game partnership agreement starting in 2014 that will bring a bowl-eligible member of the conference to Ford Field for post season play... The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl announced a six-year agreement with the Pac-12 and Big 12 Conferences, beginning after the 2014 regular season…  The Outback Bowl extended its contract with Big Ten through the 2020 Season... The Big Ten extended its relationship with the Heart of Dallas Bowl and entered into an agreement with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl to play in the postseason games, on a rotating basis for the 2013-2019 seasons…

Florida Citrus Sports and the Big Ten announced an extended partnership agreement for Orlando’s Capital One Bowl, maintaining the game’s traditional relationship through the 2019-20 season… Florida Citrus Sports and the ACC announced that the Russell Athletic Bowl will host the first available selection after the College Football Playoff system from the ACC, including Notre Dame, beginning with the 2014-15 season… The Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl and the Gator Bowl announced a new partnership, including an agreement to share selections with the Big Ten and the ACC for one of its participating teams during the 2014-2019 bowl games…ESPN Regional Television and the Las Vegas Bowl announced a six-year extension with the Pac-12 Conference that will keep the league competing in the game through at least 2019…


Colorado announced Rick George as its new athletics director… Southern Mississippi named Bill McGillis as the university's new athletics director... Northern Illinois introduced Sean Frazier as the school's new athletics director...


Herff Jones, a leading provider of graduation, achievement and educational products, announced a strategic alliance with PlayOn! Sports, a leading producer and broadcast distributor of high school sports events… WKU introduced new Russell Athletic uniforms for the 2013 season… Notre Dame introduced six new versions of its gold & blue cleats… The Big 12 Conference unveiled a concept logo for 2014 season during their media days...


Arizona State announced its sold-out game against Notre Dame on Oct. 5, 2013, at Cowboys Stadium will triple the attendance record for a Sun Devil road game… ULM unveiled new uniforms, including a video with highlights from their impressive 2012 season… Rutgers coach Kyle Flood will throw out the ceremonial first pitch July 26 at Yankee Stadium... Wyoming coach Dave Christensen appeared during the telecast of the July 21 Colorado Rockies-Chicago Cubs game… Chick-fil-A Bowl announced the Aug. 31 kickoff game between Alabama and Virginia Tech is sold out…

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses announced the launch of the Brick Campaign at the Rose Bowl Stadium that will allow fans to purchase personalized pavers and bricks leading to the main entrance of the stadium… The SEC unveiled a new championship trophy… The Orange Bowl will host an NCAA Football Youth Clinic July 27, a free half-day clinic of football skills and drills training at Florida International University.


Nick Shundich, a star defensive tackle at Cincinnati from 1948-51, passed away July 12. He was 82. Shundich served as co-captain for Hall of Fame Coach Sid Gillman on the Bearcat team that went 10-1 in 1951. He later served in Korea as a member of the U.S. Army. He retired in 1993, after a successful banking career as a vice president and trust officer… Fred Taylor, who played football at TCU from 1940-1941 and later became the Horned Frogs head coach from 1967-70, passed away July 21, 2013. He was 93… Lawrence Gressette Jr., who played fullback for Hall of Fame coach Frank Howard at Clemson in the1950s before a distinguished career in law and business, passed away July 19. He was 81… John Boyd Johnston, who played football at Jacksonville University, passed away June 21. He was 79.


The National Football Foundation relies, in part, on the support of individuals to fulfill our mission of "Building Leaders Through Football." The NFF accepts gifts in a variety of forms. In addition to one-time cash gifts, which can be put to use immediately, pledges also allow donors to make more substantial commitments over a longer period of time in support of our programs. Stock and other property which can be easily liquidated are also options when considering a gift. By making a gift of appreciated stock or property, one may reduce or avoid capital gains. Gifts to the National Football Foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

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Aug. 28, 2013 – College Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement – Atlanta

Oct. 2, 2013 – Announcement of the Semifinalists for 2013 Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth – Dallas, Texas

Oct. 31, 2013 – Announcement of 2013 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments – Dallas, Texas

Dec. 10, 2013 – 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 10, 2013 – 24th Presentation of Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, to the nation's top scholar-athlete at the Waldorf=Astoria – New York City

Jan. 2, 2014 – National Hall of Fame Salute at the Allstate Sugar Bowl – New Orleans, La.

Jan. 7, 2014 – MacArthur Bowl Presentation to the BCS National Champion –  Newport Beach, Calif.


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The 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner will be held Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, at New York City's Waldorf=Astoria. For more ticket information, please contact NFF Director of External Relations Will Rudd at 1-800-486-1865 or via email at


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

NFF Chalktalk items are welcome, and should be submitted to

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