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MONDAY'S NFF CHALKTALK – April 13, 2015, Presented by
The latest news and notes from the world of college football for the week of April 13.
Published: 4/13/2015 6:04:00 PM

(Pictured: Past and present NFF National Scholar-Athletes met at the NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter's Seventh Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet on April 6. Former Texas Tech quarterback and 1967 NFF National Scholar-Athlete John Scovell received the 2015 Distinguished Texan Award, while 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Charles Moore from Tarleton State (Texas) spoke on behalf of the collegiate scholar-athletes.)

Hall of Fame Coaching Legend Ray Graves from the University of Florida Passes Away

Coach Ray Graves, a 1990 College Football Hall of Fame inductee from the University of Florida, passed away April 10. He was 96 years old.

Born on Dec. 31, 1918, Graves played at the University of Tennessee where he was team captain in 1941. After a brief stint with the Philadelphia Eagles, Graves embarked on a coaching career in 1944 at his alma mater. Graves joined Georgia Tech’s coaching staff in 1947, where he spent 13 seasons under legendary Hall of Fame Coach Bobby Dodd.

The University of Florida hired the 41-year-old Graves as the 14th head football coach in school history in January 1960. In 10 seasons as the Gators’ head coach from 1960-69, Graves won nearly 70 percent of his games, and he led Florida to five bowl games, including its first appearances in the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl. Graves finished his career at Florida with a 70-31-4 record, including a 9-1-1 season in 1969 and a memorable 14-13 victory over Tennessee in his final game as head coach. He coached seven All-America players and three College Football Hall of Famers, including wide receiver Carlos Alvarez, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Steve Spurrier and defensive end Jack Youngblood.

Indiana Recognized for Excellence in Promoting the Scholar-Athlete Ideal

As part of the National Football Foundation Faculty Salutes Initiative, sponsored by Fidelity Investments®, the NFF presented Indiana Faculty Athletics Representative Kurt Zorn with a commemorative plaque and the school with $5,000 on April 10. Indiana and Zorn were recognized for their efforts in fostering excellence among the student-athletes as exemplified by 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Mark Murphy. The presentation took place during a reception beginning before Indiana’s home baseball game against Rutgers at Bart Kaufman Field in Bloomington, Ind. Zorn and Murphy were both on hand for the presentation and both threw out the first pitch at the baseball game.

“Kurt Zorn has been a critical liaison between academics and athletics at Indiana,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “We are proud to join with Fidelity Investments in highlighting his role in ensuring that the student-athletes at Indiana have an educational experience that prepares them for success long after their playing days in Bloomington.”

Zorn, Indiana University’s Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, is an economist and School of Public and Environmental Affairs professor who specializes in state and local public finance. He first joined Indiana more than 30 years ago in 1980, and he has served as faculty athletics representative to the Big Ten and the NCAA since 2011. Indiana Athletics Director Fred Glass and Associate Athletics Director for Academic Services Mattie White spoke at the event. Executive Director of the NFF Central Indiana Chapter Geoff Bradley, a 2013 recipient of the NFF Chapter Leadership Award, presented Zorn with his plaque while Fidelity Investments Vice President and Managing Director Patrick Vaughan presented Indiana with the $5,000 check.

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 to learn about the benefits and how your institution can become a member.

Those who have joined this week include Presidential Members the American Athletic Conference, Big 12 Conference, Kansas State, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Oklahoma and the Valero Alamo Bowl, Founder Members Buffalo, California, Eastern Michigan and Georgia Tech, and Executive Members Air Force, Florida, Miami (Fla.), Mountain West Conference and Vanderbilt. Click here for the 2015 Institutional Academic Members.

NFF Promotes

The NFF would like to highlight the newest stories on, 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:

Click here to sign up to receive the eNewsletter from 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.


On Wednesday, 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 Saturday for all fans of the conference. Guests wearing Pac-12 gear will receive $3 off of a regularly priced ticket from our box office.

On April 8, Jeopardy! shot a segment of the show live from the Hall of Fame featuring fun  and historical college football facts.

On April 9, author Emily Giffin brought 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 hosted Georgia Tech Weekend April 10-12. Georgia Tech students, faculty and staff that presented a valid Buzz Card at the box office received $3 off admission the entire weekend. The 222-0 Cumberland Game Ball was on display all three days, plus the Ramblin’ Wreck was onsite on April 11. Georgia Tech legend and College Football Hall of Famer Randy Rhino was also on hand on April 11 to meet and greet the Georgia Tech fans.

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.


The 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


NFF Board Member and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive will be presented with the Football Bowl Association’s Champions Award at the FBA’s Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday.

NFF Board Members and College Football Hall of Famers Troy Aikman (UCLA) and Roger Staubach (Navy) will again be the event chairmen for the Children's Cancer Fund's 27th Annual Luncheon on Friday at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. The event includes a fashion show with children battling cancer as models on the runway escorted by sponsors and celebrities, which will include Aikman and Staubach.

NFF Board Member and Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver George Washington University’s commencement address May 17 and will be awarded an honorary doctorate of public service.

NFF Board Members Chris Plonsky (Director of Women's Athletics at Texas) and Bob Vecchione (Executive Director of NACDA) are part of an eight person committee that will select the inaugural “USG NACDA Sustainability Award,” honoring athletics directors and their universities for incorporating sustainable practices and materials into their athletic facilities.

2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Coach Jim Tressel will be the keynote speaker at Ohio University College of Business’ 17th Annual Schey Sales Symposium on Tuesday in Athens, Ohio. Then on April 23, Tressel will be the keynote speaker at the Alliance for Congregational Transformation Influencing Our Neighborhoods’ 13th community fundraiser and banquet at St. Michael Family Life Center in Canfield, Ohio. He was the keynote speaker during the 99th annual Massillon Area Chamber of Commerce dinner on April 9.

2015 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Coach Bill Snyder (Kansas State) will speak at a brunch at the Hereford House in Andover, Kan., on May 2.  Proceeds from the event will benefit Tri-County CASA volunteer work with abused and neglected children.

2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Brian Bosworth (Oklahoma)’s new movie, “Do You Believe?” is now playing and has made more than $11.5 million in three weeks.

College Football Hall of Fame coach and 2000 NFF John L. Toner Award recipient Frank Broyles will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Arkansas at the All-University Commencement ceremony on May 9.

College Football Hall of Famer coach and longtime college football analyst Lou Holtz is leaving ESPN after 11 years. He also recently addressed the Texas football team.

A historic marker was unveiled over the weekend outside the home of College Football Hall of Fame Coach Jake Gaither (Florida A&M) in Tallahassee, Fla.

College Football Hall of Famer Ed Marinaro (Cornell) will speak at the Daniel Island Club in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday.

College Football Hall of Famer John Huard (Maine) will be inducted into the Maine Principals’ Association Hall of Excellence on May 21.

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.

2014 Campbell Trophy winner David Helton (Duke) was named the State of Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame’s Amateur Male Athlete of the Year. He will be recognized on June 6 at the Omni Hotel Nashville as part of the Hall of Fame’s 2015 induction class celebration.

2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Nate Leonard (Texas at San Antonio) was named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

2003 NFF National Scholar-Athlete from Mississippi and current New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning was named one of the “Top 20 Philanthropists Under 40” by the New York Observer.

The Big 12 Conference has announced the lineup for its third “State of College Athletics” Forum, which will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 20. Participants include NFF Board Member and Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Oklahoma football student-athlete Ty Darlington and FOX College Football analyst and former Tennessee football player Charles Davis.

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 Kalvin Davis, a linebacker at Azusa Pacific (Calif.) who maintains a 3.35 GPA in exercise science.


The NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter held its Seventh Annual Awards Banquet on April 6. Former Texas Tech quarterback and 1967 NFF National Scholar-Athlete John Scovell received the 2015 Distinguished Texan Award and new SMU head coach Chad Morris was the guest speaker. 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Charles Moore (Tarleton State [Texas]) spoke on behalf of the collegiate scholar-athletes. 2015 College Football Hall of Famer electee Bob Breunig (Arizona State) and Hall of Famers Chad Hennings (Air Force), D.D. Lewis (Mississippi State) and Scott Thomas (Air Force) were in attendance.

NFF Arkansas Chapter President and former Arkansas linebacker David Bazzel will be the subject at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Toast and Roast on Aug. 13 at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock.

The NFF Western Massachusetts Chapter held its 53rd Scholar-Athlete Banquet on April 12 at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. UMass football coach Mark Whipple delivered the opening remarks.

The NFF Colorado Chapter’s 22nd Annual Scholar-Athlete Banquet is scheduled for tonight at the Denver West Marriott. New Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo will be the guest speaker and honorees will include Colorado Lt. Governor Joseph A. Garcia and new Florida and former Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain.

The NFF Rio Grande Valley (Texas) Chapter will host its Scholar-Athlete Banquet tonight at the Victoria Palms in Weslaco, Texas.

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 tomorrow at the Utah Community Credit Union Events Center on the campus of Utah Valley University.

The NFF Brian Piccolo/Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Chapter will hold its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Wednesday at the Heron Bay Marriott in Coral Springs, Fla. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney will be the guest speaker.

The NFF New York City Chapter will hold its Third Annual “Elite Eleven” Scholar Athlete Award Dinner on Thursday at the New York Athletic Club, distributing 11 college scholarships of $1,000 each. NFF Board Member, former Yale football player and television broadcaster Jack Ford will receive the chapter’s highest honor, “The Accorsi Award.” College Football Hall of Famer Don McPherson (Syracuse) will emcee the event, and NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell will provide opening remarks. Recently retired head coach and current athletics director at Wagner, Walt Hameline, will also be honored.

The NFF Central Indiana Chapter will hold its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Saturday at the Indianapolis Colts facility.

The NFF Wisconsin Chapter will host its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Saturday at Union South on the University of Wisconsin campus. The banquet will take place before the Badgers’ spring game.

The NFF National Capital (D.C.) Chapter’s Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet is scheduled for Sunday at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, Va. William & Mary head football coach Jimmye Laycock will attend.

The NFF University of Georgia Chapter will hold its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on April 20 at the Athens Country Club.

The NFF Memphis (Tenn.) Chapter will host its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on April 20 at Rhodes College.

The NFF Allstate Sugar Bowl (La.) Chapter will hold its 2015 Awards Luncheon in the Bienville Club Room at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on April 21. NFF Chairman and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Manning (Mississippi) will recognize each of the student-athletes at the event.

The NFF Texas Tech Chapter will distribute $41,000 in scholarships at its Scholar-Athlete Banquet and Awards Program, presented by Germblast, scheduled for Wednesday, April 22, at the Overton Hotel & Conference Center in Lubbock, Texas. Texas Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt and Texas Tech head coach and former NFF National Scholar-Athlete Kliff Kingsbury will again help the chapter pay tribute to the its scholar-athletes and award winners.

2014 Campbell Trophy semifinalist Jared Tevis will be among 11 scholar-athletes honored by the NFF Southern Arizona Chapter at its 18th Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet on April 26 at the Doubletree Hotel at Reid Park. Former Arizona All-Pac-10 linebacker and former NFL player Spencer Larsen will be the keynote speaker.

The NFF Southeast Connecticut Chapter will hold its annual scholar-athlete banquet on April 26 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. Sixteen scholar-athletes will be honored.

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.


Conference Alignment

NCAA Division III’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) will begin sponsoring the sport of football starting in the 2017 season…


San Diego State has added San Diego to its 2015 football schedule… Georgia State will play at Alabama in 2020 and at Auburn in 2021… Rice and Houston agreed to a home-and-home series in 2017 and 2018. Rice also scheduled a game with Prairie View A&M in 2016 and postponed its series with Northwestern to 2024-25. Houston also added a game with Lamar in 2016…


The Big Ten Network announced its 2015 primetime football schedule…


The contract of Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has been extended through the year 2020… Marshall signed athletics director Mike Hamrick and football coach Doc Holliday to long-term contract extensions… Johnson C. Smith (N.C.) announced Kermit Blount as head football coach… Elizabeth City State (N.C.) named Derrick Johnson as its next athletics director… Dennis Hennigan has been named the ACC’s Coordinator of Football Officiating… Seattle Times sportswriter Bud Withers, a voter in the inaugural FWAA-NFF Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll, is retiring after 45 years…

Awards and Honors

Conference USA released its Commissioner’s Honor Roll for the 2014-15 academic year… The winners of the 2015 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Awards were announced


Sarah Thomas
, the first woman to officiate an NCAA football game in 2007, will become the first full-time NFL official this season…


Wyoming unveiled plans for a $44 million renovation and expansion of the Rochelle Athletics Center that will triple the size of the facility… Iowa State announced the new club area in the south end zone of Jack Trice Stadium will be named the Sukup End Zone Club, after the Sukup family of Sheffield, Iowa… Utah State announced a corporate partnership with Maverik, Inc., for naming rights to its football stadium… The master plan for Purdue football facilities is moving forward… A few months after Ball State's $20 million athletics fundraising campaign wrapped up, athletics director Mark Sandy provided updates on the progress of six facilities projects, including the new football complex…


Longtime Clemson supporter Betty Poe made the second cornerstone gift of $2.5 million to Clemson University Athletics for facilities… As part of Ohio University’s “The Promise Lives” campaign, Ohio athletics has surpassed its departmental goal of $22.5 million…

Marketing & Uniforms

TCU unveiled new uniforms for the upcoming season…


Nebraska’s spring game on April 11 attracted 76,881 fans, more than any spring game in 2014…

Community Service

Rice signed 7-year-old leukemia patient Ziggy Stovall-Redd to its football team…


UAB has hired another sports consultant to produce a new study about the decision to cut football… A group of 120 UAB football alumni gathered together over the weekend for the “Sons of UAB” game to honor the past… Notre Dame Athletics will eliminate all service charges and fees connected with purchasing tickets for all athletics events, effective with the 2015-16 athletic seasons… School trustees named four new facilities being built in the Arlington, Texas, school district for six retired educators, including former Oklahoma football player and former Arlington Lamar High School football coach Eddy Peach and his wife Debbie. Peach is the first coach to win 300 games at the Texas Class 5A level (now the Class 6A level), and he retired with 310 wins…


Former Stanford football player Bob Mastin passed away March 3. He was 97… Former North Carolina A&T football player J.D. Smith passed away April 1. He was 83… Former University of California-Santa Barbara halfback Sam Cathcart passed away April 3. He was 90… Former Chowan (N.C.) head football coach and athletics director and Western Carolina football player Jim Garrison passed away April 3. He was 82… Former William & Mary football player Charlie Sumner passed away April 3. He was 84… Former Auburn quarterback Dick Wood passed away April 4. He was 79… Don Looney, believed to be one of the last surviving members of TCU’s 1938 national championship football team, passed away April 5. He was 98… Former San Jose State football player Art Powell passed away April 6. He was 78… Former Virginia running back John Papit passed away April 6. He was 86… Illinois State deputy director of athletics and former Whitworth (Wash.) athletics director Aaron Leetch was among seven killed in a plane crash April 7. He was 37… Jim Mutscheller, a second-team All-America end and a senior Notre Dame football captain in 1951, passed away April 10. He was 85…


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


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. 


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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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