National Football Foundation

News Detail

MONDAY'S NFF CHALKTALK – June 15, 2015, Presented by
The latest news and notes from the world of college football for the week of June 15.
Published: 6/15/2015 5:30:00 PM

(Pictured: College Football Hall of Famer and 1996 Campbell Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel has been elected to the Academic All-America Hall of Fame, and he will be inducted at CoSIDA's annual convention in Orlando, Fla., on June 15.)

2014 Report: Passion for College Football Remains Strong

The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) highlighted multiple impressive facts from the 2014 college football season that emphasize the strong popularity of college football among millions of fans across the country.

Some of the top highlights include:

The inaugural College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship between Ohio State and Oregon drew an average of 33.4 million viewers and an 18.2 US household rating for ESPN, giving the game the largest audience and highest rating in cable history. The first-ever CFP semifinals on New Year’s Day delivered the second- and third-highest audiences in cable TV history.

The 2014 college football season signaled more people than ever are now watching games through means other than just their televisions. The 517 FBS games on WatchESPN generated 1.2 billion live minutes viewed, an 80 percent increase over 2013.

The SEC set an all-time record across all conferences with 7,769,362 fans in 2014, leading all FBS conferences in average attendance for the 17th consecutive year with 77,694 fans per game. The 655 NCAA football programs drew 49,072,591 fans at home games, neutral-site games and postseason games in 2014. The numbers symbolize a phenomenal increase of 156 percent from the 19,134,159 fans that the NCAA reported when they first started collecting attendance figures in 1948.

Click here to see more of the ratings and attendance highlights from the 2014 college football season.

Final Week to Vote for the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot

The voting deadline for the College Football Hall of Fame is this Saturday, June 20. The ballot has been emailed to the more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Courts, which deliberate and select the class. If you would like to become a member and receive this year’s ballot, please contact NFF Director of Membership Ron Dilatush at

Click here to see the complete list of names on the 2016 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, including 76 players and five coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 92 players and 27 coaches from the divisional ranks.

The announcement of the 2016 Class will be made Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Ariz. The hotel is serving as the official media hotel for the College Football Playoff National Championship, which will be played Jan. 11 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. The nominees elected as members of the 2016 class will be inducted during the NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City at the Waldorf Astoria on Dec. 6, 2016, and their accomplishments will be permanently enshrined at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

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 last year. Email Ron Dilatush at to learn about the benefits and how your institution can become a member in 2015.

Those who have joined this week include Founder Members Fairleigh Dickinson (N.J.) and the Ivy League and Executive Members Adrian (Mich.), Amherst College (Mass.), Colorado Mesa, Muskingum (Ohio), Ohio and West Alabama. 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.


Put Dad in the Hall of Fame! The Hall will treat all dads to free admission and a special gift with the purchase of one regular priced adult, senior or child admission on Father’s Day. Dads will receive a free t-shirt from the Hall of Fame, while supplies last. For more information, visit

Chick-fil-A will host a Father-Son Campout on the playing field on June 19. The night will consist of fun programming and activities throughout the evening. This is the Hall’s second overnight event.

The College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience is now officially part of CityPASS in Atlanta. The Hall joins the National Center for Civil and Human Rights as the newest attractions included in the CityPASS program, joining the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Zoo Atlanta, Fernbank Museum of Natural History and CNN Center.

The University of Pittsburgh brought “Pitt on the Prowl” to the Hall of Fame on June 10. The Panthers’ head football coach Pat Narduzzi shared expectations for the upcoming season and also placed the new Pitt helmet decal on the Hall’s Helmet Wall.

The University of Georgia will host UGA Day in Atlanta on July 27 at the Hall. UGA coaches and administrators will share the latest news on the upcoming athletic seasons. Coaches, who are schedule to speak, include head football coach Mark Richt and Men’s head basketball coach Mark Fox. The event is open to the public. To register, visit

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.

Former U.S. Congressman Scott Raecker, R-Iowa who played football at Grinnell College (Iowa), provides a passionate testimonial about his recent visit and tour of the College Football Hall of Fame. Click here to watch.


The College Football Hall of Fame opened its doors last fall 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


The National Football Foundation and President & CEO Steve Hatchell are among those announced by NACDA as recipients of the 2015 Golden Anniversary Awards, which recognize those individuals, companies and organizations that have had significant impact on NACDA over its first 50 years. Other honorees include NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Fame coach Grant Teaff and the American Football Coaches Association, of which he is the executive director, and 2014 NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award recipient Jim Host and Host Communications. The honorees will be recognized at the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Luncheon, in conjunction with NACDA’s 50th Anniversary Convention on June 16 in Orlando, Fla.

NFF Board Member and Chairman & President of IMG College Ben Sutton Jr. has received the state of North Carolina’s top honor, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Sutton will also be inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators Hall of Fame at the association's annual convention June 14-17 at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Fla. Michigan State athletics director Mark Hollis will also be inducted.

2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Coach Jim Tressel and 1994 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Joey Galloway will be inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 18 at a dinner and introduced to the public at halftime of the Ohio State home football game against Northern Illinois on Sept. 19. Former defensive back Tim Anderson is also in the class.

, now the President at Youngstown State, will be honored by the Mahoning Valley Scrappers minor league baseball club when the team holds “Jim Tressel Bobblehead Night” on June 26 at Eastwood Field in Niles, Ohio.

College Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU) has been elected to the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame, and he will have his number retired by the team during halftime during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 22.

College Football Hall of Famer Leonard Smith (McNeese State) has been elected to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, and he will be officially enshrined June 27. Joining him in the class are former Louisiana-Monroe head coach Pat Collins and former football players Jake Delhomme (Louisiana-Lafayette) and Kevin Faulk (LSU). Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan will receive the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award at the event.

College Football Hall of Famer Curt Warner (Penn State) will share his inspiring message at the 79th Clark College (Wash.) commencement on June 18.

An application has been submitted to the City of Omaha, Neb., to name Burt Street between 30th and 33rd Streets “Johnny Rodgers Street,” in honor of the College Football Hall of Famer from Nebraska.

College Football Hall of Famer and 1996 Campbell Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel has been elected to the Academic All-America Hall of Fame, and he will be inducted at CoSIDA's annual convention in Orlando, Fla., on June 15. Former Denison (Ohio) football player Dr. Grant Jones will join him in the class.

Oliver Luck
, a 1981 NFF National Scholar-Athlete from West Virginia and the current NCAA Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, will address the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) membership as the closing keynote speaker on June 17, the final day of the 2015 CoSIDA Convention.

2008 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Chase Daniel (Missouri)’s DFW Mizzou Golf Tournament will be held June 26 at Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club in Keller, Texas. Proceeds from the event will support the Dallas-Fort Worth alumni chapter's scholarship endowment and the Chase Daniel Lone Star State Scholarship Fund.

2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Brandon Vitabile has been named one of three male finalists for Northwestern’s 2015 Big Ten Medal of Honor. The winner will be announced on June 18 at the annual N Club Induction and Senior Recognition Banquet at the Hilton Orrington Hotel in Evanston, Ill.

2015 NFF Chris Schenkel Award recipient and Voice of the LSU Tigers takes a look back at LSU baseball as he calls his last College World Series.

2011 NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award recipient and CBS broadcaster Verne Lundquist is the recipient of the 2015 CoSIDA Jake Wade Award, which annually recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the media to the field of intercollegiate athletics. He will be honored during the CoSIDA Hall of Fame luncheon on June 15 in Orlando, Fla.

2012 NFF Distinguished American and former ESPN Executive Chairman and President George Bodenheimer’s new book, titled “Every Town is a Sports Town,” is now available in stores and online. The book is a frank and intriguing memoir illuminating his 33-year tenure at ESPN. Initially hired to work in the mailroom, one of Bodenheimer's first jobs was to pick up sportscaster Dick Vitale at the Hartford airport and drive him to ESPN’s main campus–a couple of trailers in a dirt parking lot. But as ESPN grew, so did his status in the company. All royalties will be donated to the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Click here for a list of retailers where the book can be purchased.

Presented by

Click here to read the latest edition of the NFF Chapter Network Newsletter, presented by Under Armour, which shines a light on the events and activities put on by the NFF's nation-wide Chapter Network. Click here to join the NFF to help support these and other initiatives to Build Leaders Through Football.

The NFF State of Maine Chapter hosted its Scholar-Athlete Banquet June 10 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Through the Coach Mac-Huard Fund, $8,000 in grants were awarded to four youth football organizations. College Football Hall of Famer John Huard (Maine) made the presentation of the grants. The chapter also presented $10,000 in scholarships to high school football players. The chapter will host its 16th Annual Golf Tournament on July 6 at the Belgrade Lakes Golf Club in Belgrade Lakes, Maine. The chapter has also started to explore forming an “alumni” branch to engage previous honorees.

College Football Hall of Famer Otis Armstrong (Purdue) headlined the NFF Joe Tiller/Northwest Indiana Chapter Honors Dinner on June 10 at the Purdue Memorial Union. Armstrong was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame at the event while former Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton received the Drew Brees Mental Toughness Award. Former Purdue quarterback and current Jimmy Johns COO Carl Buergler received the “He Played Football” Award.

The NFF Oklahoma Chapter-sponsored All Sports and Scholar-Athletes Awards Luncheon will take place June 16 at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame/Jim Thorpe Museum in Oklahoma City. Many with local football ties will be honored, including the chapter’s College Players of the Year: Landon Chappell (Central Oklahoma), Ty Darlington (Oklahoma), Chace Green (Langston), Tanner Hallford (Oklahoma Panhandle), William House (Southern Nazarene), Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State), Justin Schanbacher (Northwestern Oklahoma State), Garrett Stafford (Tulsa), Ty Watkins (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M) and Cole Weber (East Central).

The NFF Tom Lombardo/St. Louis Chapter will host the inaugural M&M Celebrity Golf Classic on June 18 at The Legends Golf Club in Eureka, Mo. College Football Hall of Famer Johnny Roland (Missouri) and former California football player and NFL head coach Jim Hanifan will be the honorary co-chairs. FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll voter Phil Steele will also participate.

The 19th Sunshine Football Classic all-star game, sponsored by the NFF Delaware Valley (N.J.) Chapter, will take place July 1 at The College of New Jersey.

The NFF Northern Connecticut Chapter will host its annual golf tournament July 29 at the Manchester Country Club in Manchester, Conn.



Conference USA announced its schedule of football games that will air on the American Sports Network for the 2015 season… The Big Ten set its early season 2015 football TV schedule… The MAC announced an updated version of the 2015 football schedule with kickoff times and networks for the first three weeks of the regular season…


The inaugural Celebration Bowl, which will pit the conference champion from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference against the Southwestern Athletic Conference champion, will be televised live on ABC at Noon ET on Saturday, Dec. 19, from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta…

Bowl Games

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has extended its title sponsorship in a multiyear deal with the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl…

High School

The Maskat Shrine Oil Bowl Classic, one of the oldest all-star games in the country, held its 78th edition on Saturday, June 13, at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls, Texas. Defense ruled the day, as East Texas defeated West Texas, 7-3…


After a 40-year career in collegiate athletics, including more than three decades as the only commissioner in the history of the Colonial Athletic Association, Tom Yeager announced that he will retire at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season… Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) announced Scott McGuinness as its director of athletics… Murray State athletics director Allen Ward received a contract extension…

Awards & Honors

2014 Campbell Trophy semifinalist Leighton Gasque (Middle Tennessee State) and Southern Miss quarterback Cole Weeks are among this year’s recipients of Conference USA’s Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship Awards…


Improvements are underway at Central College (Iowa)’s Schipper Stadium…


Colorado has launched a Legacy Brick campaign as part of the Sustainable Excellence Initiative and the “Drive for $105 Million.”…

Community Service

A football camp worked by Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh raised $101,000 for brain tumor research… The Penn State Chapter of Uplifting Athletes hosted “A Field Day Inspired by Lift for Life” on June 13…


As part of its 75th anniversary celebration in 2015, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) is highlighting one of its most important leaders each week for the next four months. The most recent installment is on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Furman Bisher, the 1982 winner of the Bert McGrane Award… Also in honor of its anniversary, the FWAA will be selecting its 75-year All-America team…


North Dakota has narrowed the ideas for its new nickname down to 15…

Additional News of Interest

2015 “ACC Day” will be held at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 9… Fresno State introduced its new live mascot, Victor E. Bulldog III… The ACC set a record revenue surpassing $300 million…


Former Loras (Iowa) football player Kyle Kirchhoff passed away May 22. He was 24… Clayton Calhoun, a member of Oregon State’s 1967 Giant Killers team, passed away May 31. He was 70… Former Bethune-Cookman quarterback Raymon Thornton passed away June 2. He was 87… Former Colgate quarterback Raymond P. Scott Jr. passed away June 7. He was 87… Former Louisiana Tech quarterback and Arkansas, New Mexico State, Tulane, Northwestern State and Louisiana Tech assistant coach Billy Laird passed away June 11. He was 71…


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. 7, 2016
– Leadership Hall of Fame Induction Dinner - Phoenix, Ariz.

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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