National Football Foundation

News Detail

MONDAY'S NFF CHALKTALK – April 6, 2015, Presented by FootballMatters.org
The latest news and notes from the world of college football for the week of April 6.
Published: 4/6/2015 3:30:00 PM

(Pictured: NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Griffin (Ohio State) will address more than 10,000 graduates and their families during Ohio State’s spring commencement on Sunday, May 10, at Ohio Stadium.)

Hall of Famer and University of the Pacific Legend Eddie LeBaron Passes Away

Eddie LeBaron, a 1980 College Football Hall of Fame inductee from the University of the Pacific (Calif.), passed away April 1. He was 85 years old.

Born Jan. 7, 1930, in San Rafael, Calif., he attended high school in Oakdale, Calif., before beginning his college football career at Pacific when he was just 16. LeBaron played four years for College of the Pacific (now University of the Pacific) in Stockton, Calif. He spent his freshman year in 1946 playing for College Football Hall of Fame Coach Amos Alonzo Stagg during the legend’s last season as a coach. He then played three years under Coach Larry Siemering, leading the Tigers to records of 9-1, 7-1-2 and 11-0 in those years.

After graduation, LeBaron served as a United State Marine Corps lieutenant and he spent nine months in Korea, where he was wounded twice and decorated with a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his heroic efforts. He taught at the Marine Base in Quantico, and he was released from service in 1952. He played 11 seasons in the NFL with the Washington Redskins (1952-53, 1955-59) and the Dallas Cowboys (1960-63), going to four Pro Bowls and leading the league in passing in 1958.

Between seasons during his pro career, LeBaron obtained a law degree from George Washington University in 1959. LeBaron practiced law in Nevada from 1964-76 before becoming the general manager of the Atlanta Falcons 1977-82, and he would be named pro football’s “Executive of the Year” in 1980. He then served as the Falcons’ executive vice president/chief operating officer from 1982-85. Following that, LeBaron went to Sacramento in 1988 to practice law, and he retired as an attorney and partner in Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro in 1997.

2015 NFF Institutional Academic Membership is Now Open

Each year, the NFF invites universities, colleges, conferences and bowl games from across the country to provide support for the NFF programs through its Institutional Academic Membership Program. The 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 and conferences at every level of college football and all bowl games, and it reached new levels of support in 2014. Email Ron Dilatush at rdilatush@footballfoundation.com to learn about the benefits and how your institution can become a member.

Those who have joined this week include Presidential Members Georgia, Iowa State, Mid-American Conference, LSU and Texas Tech, Founder Member Akron and Executive Members BYU, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico and Rice . Click here for the 2015 Institutional Academic Members.

NFF Promotes FootballMatters.org

The NFF would like to highlight the newest stories on FootballMatters.org, a powerful new addition to the organization’s campaign to highlight the good in the game and the lifelong benefits to those who play it. Recent headlines on the site include:


The NFF recently launched the first FootballMatters.org eNewsletter, which will periodically highlight some of the top stories on the site. Click here to sign up to receive the eNewsletter from FootballMatters.org. The site focuses on the stories that evoke the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal, character building and the drive for academic excellence that exemplifies many of the young men who play football and the families who support them.

The site is the latest addition to the NFF’s #FootballMatters Campaign, which began in 2013 and provides people from border-to-border and coast-to-coast a voice in highlighting the positive impact that football has had on their lives. The campaign encourages participation via a series of national television spots with high-profile former players who subsequently achieved remarkable success later in life. The TV spots urge people to utilize social media platforms and the hashtag: #ImAFootballPlayer to share their football stories, which become part of the Twitter feed on the NFF website.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME HAPPENINGS

THIS WEEK:
On Wednesday, Jeopardy! will shoot a segment of the show live from the Hall of Fame featuring fun  and historical college football facts.

On Thursday, author Emily Giffin will bring her book tour to the College Football Hall of Fame which features her latest book, The One and Only. The book tells the love story between a Sports Information Director and a football coach.

The College Football Hall of Fame will host Georgia Tech Weekend April 10-12. Georgia Tech students, faculty and staff that present a valid Buzz Card at the box office will receive $3 off admission the entire weekend. The 222-0 Cumberland Game Ball will be on display all three days, plus the Ramblin’ Wreck will be onsite on Saturday, April 11 from 12-2 p.m. Georgia Tech legend and College Football Hall of Famer Randy Rhino will also be on hand on April 11 from 12-2 p.m. to meet and greet the Georgia Tech fans.

LAST WEEK
:
The College Football Hall of Fame hosted Big South Volleyball Night on Friday, April 3, to celebrate all attendees of the Big South National Qualifier. Activities included a volleyball friendly skill-zone complete with a net and balls in the current Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Skill Zone.

LOOK AHEAD
:
On Wednesday, April 15, the Textile Rental Services Association will host a kickoff tailgate event at the College Football Hall of Fame from 5:30-7:30 p.m. ET.

The Hall of Fame will host Pac-12 Day on April 18 for all fans of the conference. Guests wearing Pac-12 gear will receive $3 off of a regularly priced ticket from our box office.

The 14th annual Big South Conference Football Media Day will be held in part on July 29 at the College Football Hall of Fame. Events will include a free tour for media of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Big South’s Kickoff Dinner.

VISIT THE HALL

The new College Football Hall of Fame opened its doors Aug. 23, 2014, in the heart of Atlanta’s sports, entertainment and tourism district. Adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park, the new Hall provides visitors with a highly immersive, interactive and engaging experience using a blend of historic college football artifacts and state-of-the-art, interactive multimedia exhibits. To plan your visit and purchase tickets, visit www.cfbhall.com.

THE BLITZ

NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Griffin (Ohio State) will address more than 10,000 graduates and their families during Ohio State’s spring commencement on Sunday, May 10, at Ohio Stadium.

2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Brian Bosworth (Oklahoma) is scheduled to participate in fellow Hall of Famer Bo Jackson (Auburn)’s fourth annual Bo Bikes Bama tour, which raises money for the Governor's Emergency Relief Fund. The event starts May 2 in Auburn, Ala. Bosworth’s new movie, “Do You Believe?” is now playing.

College Football Hall of Famer Ty Detmer (BYU) will be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday. Joining him in the 2015 Class are former Dallas Cowboys VP of Player Personnel Gil Brandt, former Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) safety Cliff Harris and former Grambling State defensive back Everson Walls.

College Football Hall of Famer and 1996 Campbell Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel (Florida) will be honored by the Florida Players Network at its fourth annual Spring Spectacular events during the University of Florida's Orange and Blue Debut game this weekend.

College Football Hall of Famer Chet Moeller (Navy) will speak at the American Diabetes Association Hall of Fame Kickoff Breakfast on Thursday at the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in Birmingham. The event will also feature former Auburn football player Mike Kolen.

The 11th Annual Pat’s Run, honoring 2006 NFF Distinguished American and College Football Hall of Famer Pat Tillman (Arizona State), is scheduled for April 25 in Tempe, Ariz. The event raises scholarship funds for Tillman Scholars who, in Pat’s name, strive to make a significant impact for our country and communities.

2003 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Jonathan Vilma will be inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame at its 47th Annual Induction Banquet on Thursday at Jungle Island in downtown Miami. Also in the class are former football player and assistant coach Rob Chudzinski and former Hurricane football players Rusty Medearis, Winston Moss, Kevin Patrick and Sean Taylor.


NFF Program Updates

The NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Day, presented by Fidelity Investments, is a daily segment honoring the 2014 National Scholar-Athlete Award candidates, who also comprise the list of semifinalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments. Today’s honoree is Trevor Loveland, a linebacker at Wagner who graduated in May 2014 with a 3.90 GPA in business administration.

OVER THE MIDDLE

The NFF San Fernando Valley (Calif.) Chapter honored 42 high school seniors at its Scholar-Athlete Banquet March 30 at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City, Calif.

The NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter will host its Seventh Annual Awards Banquet on tonight at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. Former Texas Tech quarterback and 1967 NFF National Scholar-Athlete John Scovell will receive the 2015 Distinguished Texan Award and new SMU head coach Chad Morris will be the guest speaker. The chapter announced its major award winners and its scholar-athlete honorees last week, which include 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Charles Moore (Tarleton State [Texas]).

Dan Lauria
, the actor of “Wonder Years” and “Lombardi” fame and who played football at Southern Connecticut State University, will be honored by the NFF Casey-O'Brien/New Haven (Conn.) Chapter on Friday with the chapter’s Distinguished American Award. The chapter’s Scholar-Athlete Banquet will take place at the Fantasia Banquet Facility in North Haven, Conn.

The NFF Walter J. Zable/San Diego Chapter will hold its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on April 10 at the Scottish Rite Center in San Diego.

The NFF Southern Indiana Chapter will hold its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Sunday, featuring guest speakers 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Mark Murphy (Indiana) and 1981 NFF National Scholar-Athlete and current NCAA executive vice president of regulatory affairs Oliver Luck (West Virginia).

The NFF Western Massachusetts Chapter’s Scholar-Athlete Banquet is set for Sunday at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. UMass football coach Mark Whipple will deliver the opening remarks.

The NFF Schuylkill/Pottsville (Pa.) Chapter will host its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Sunday at Hillcrest Hall in Pottsville.

Two-time Super Bowl Champion coach and former University of Utah linebacker George Seifert and former University of Utah and current Minnesota Viking running back Matt Asiata will headline the 21st annual NFF Utah Chapter Scholar-Athlete Banquet on April 14 at the Utah Community Credit Union Events Center on the campus of Utah Valley University.

The NFF New York City Chapter will hold its Third Annual “Elite Eleven” Scholar Athlete Award Dinner April 16 at the New York Athletic Club, distributing 11 college scholarships of $1,000 each.

The NFF Minnesota Chapter will hold the Eighth Annual Minnesota Football Honors on May 3 at the Hilton in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Vikings are once again the presenting sponsor.

TWO-MINUTE DRILL

New Football Schools

Clarke University (Iowa), which announced it will start a football program for the 2018 season, has joined the Heart of America Athletic Conference in the NAIA…

Scheduling

Conference USA announced date changes to nine football games this fall… The Syracuse football 2015 season-opener against Rhode Island has been moved to Friday, Sept. 4… Arizona scheduled future home-and-home series with Texas Tech and Hawaii… Hawaii also scheduled a future three-game series with Oregon and future home games against Western Carolina and Fordham… Hawaii also moved its first game of a future home-and-home series with Wisconsin, originally scheduled on Sept. 4, 2021, to Aug. 31, 2024, and added a home-and-home series with Army in 2022 and 2024… Wake Forest has announced the addition of 13 games to its future football schedules… Fresno State and Washington agreed to a game in 2017… Syracuse has added a home game with Holy Cross to its 2019 schedule… Cincinnati and Georgia State will each host UT Martin in 2016…

People

Minnesota-Morris named Robert Cushman as its new head coach…

Awards and Honors

Former football players Conly "Buzz" Bolding, David Henson, Michael Norvell and Allen Perry have been elected to the University of Central Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame… Former football players Sog Panter and Scott Robertson have been elected to the Colorado College Athletics Hall of Fame…

Facilities

Utah State will announce a new corporate sponsor and name change to Romney Stadium during its annual Spring Game on Saturday… Clemson Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich provided an update on the university’s ongoing $176-million facilities campaign in the WestZone at Memorial Stadium… Arkansas State will hold a “topping off ceremony” at Centennial Bank Stadium tomorrow at 1 p.m., when the final iron beam will be placed on the stadium’s new press box… Miami (Ohio) announced that the Indoor Sports Center, just north of Yager Stadium, will be named the David and Anita Dauch Indoor Sports Center, in honor of former Miami football player David Dauch and his wife Anita… McKendree (Ill.) will be replacing the turf playing surface at Leemon Field this summer…

Donations

Southern California athletics has reached its goal of $300 million for the Heritage Initiative, the most ambitious fundraising effort in the department’s history. The initiative was co-chaired by College Football Hall of Fame coach John Robinson… Our Beaver Nation, the fundraising arm of Oregon State Athletics, announced it has received over $1 million more in annual fund donations and pledges than it had at the same point during the 2014 Fiscal Year…

Marketing & Uniforms

Cincinnati athletics announced a long-term partnership with Under Armour… Delaware and adidas have entered into an exclusive five-year partnership…

Community Service

On March 26, Orange Bowl members and staff along with representatives from Baptist Health South Florida and TD Bank handed out shoes to 50 South Florida youths as part of the Orange Bowl “Kicks for Kids” program…

Miscellaneous

The Cincinnati Reds will host members of the 2014 National Champion Ohio State Buckeye football team and head coach Urban Meyer on opening night, April 8… The Independence Bowl has scheduled its fifth-annual Youth Football Clinic, open to all children ages 5-13, for Saturday, June 13…

Obituaries

Former Arizona head football coach Jim LaRue passed away March 29. He was 89… Former Alabama A&M kicker Chance Wilson died March 28. He was 25… Former Stephen F. Austin State football player Tracy Groom died March 29. He was 52… Former Virginia Tech president Paul Torgersen, a big backer of the Hokies football program, passed away March 30. He was 83… Former Arizona State football player Robert Z'Dar passed away March 30. He was 64… Former Georgia Tech All-ACC safety Riccardo Ingram passed away March 31 after a six year battle with Brain cancer. He was 48… Charlie Bussey, the first Academic All-American in any sport in Clemson history and quarterback of Clemson’s first ACC Championship football team in 1956, passed away April 2. He was 80… Former Memphis football player Terdell Middleton passed away April 3. He was 59… Former Midwestern State (Texas) football player Frank Maykus Jr. passed away last week. He was 80…

SUPPORT THE NFF

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. Join us! For more information about how you can support the NFF, call 972-556-1000 or click here.

The NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association provides a powerful vehicle for past honorees to remain in the vanguard of the NFF’s present efforts. Click here to see the members of the 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association. For more information on the program or to enroll for 2014, please email Ron Dilatush at rdilatush@footballfoundation.com.

NFF KEY DATES

Sept. 24, 2015 – Announcement of the 2015 semifinalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy – Irving, Texas

Oct. 29, 2015
– Announcement of the 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments – Irving, Texas

Dec. 7, 2015
– Presentation of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup to the Ivy League Football Players of the Year at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New  York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
 – 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Press Conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– 26th presentation of the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and prominently displayed at the NYAC, to the nation's top football scholar-athlete at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– Induction of the 2015 College Football Hall of Fame Class at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Jan. 8, 2016
– Announcement of the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Scottsdale, Ariz.

Jan. 11, 2016
 –College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Ariz. 

NFF INFORMATION

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Notes

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 news@footballfoundation.com.

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