National Football Foundation

News Detail

TUESDAY'S NFF CHALKTALK – July 7, 2015, Presented by
The latest news and notes from the world of college football for the week of July 7.
Published: 7/7/2015 3:45:00 PM

Pictured: 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Taylor Kelly received Arizona State’s 2014-15 Pac-12 Tom Hansen Conference Medal of Honor. The Conference Medal is awarded annually at each institution to the outstanding senior male and female student-athletes who exhibit “the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.”) 

The Mannings Celebrate a Special Anniversary

The Manning Passing Academy will reach a major milestone this week as the 20th edition takes place July 9-12 on the campus of Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La. The academy, which boasts a list of contributors that would require its own Hollywood Walk of Fame, has one simple goal: to make the game more enjoyable for high school players.

“I think we have accomplished our mission, which was to enhance the high school experience for young quarterbacks and receivers,” said Archie Manning, the chairman of the National Football Foundation and the executive director of the camp. “It’s not to make them into college players and certainly not pro players but to help them with their skills, their leadership qualities, their knowledge of nutrition and hydration, character, work habits, the cerebral part of football. The kids who come to our camp want to play high school football, and we want their experience to be a good one.”

The camp started in 1996 at Tulane University in New Orleans with 185 participants. Archie’s sons, 1997 NFF William V. Campbell Trophy recipient Peyton (Tennessee), 2003 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Eli (Mississippi) and Cooper, along with Darmouth head coach Buddy Teevens and Oregon director of football operations Jeff Hawkins, have been involved with the camp since its inception.

More than half the current NFL quarterbacks either attended the camp as counselors or campers. Prominent participants have included NFF National Scholar-Athletes Matt Barkley (Southern California), Kirk Cousins (Michigan State), Colt McCoy (Texas), Greg McElroy (Alabama), Aaron Murray (Georgia), Christian Ponder (Florida State) and Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M).

The academy will attract campers from 47 states and Canada this year with the number capped at 1,200. Based on rough estimates, more than 20,000 have attended the camp over the years. Manning said two-thirds of the campers drive with their parents and grandparents from all over the country to attend the camp, staying in the motels, eating at restaurants and generating an annual economic impact of more than $2 million for the local community during the four-day event.

Hall of Famer and University of Nebraska Legend Forrest Behm Passes Away

Forrest Behm, a 1988 College Football Hall of Fame inductee from the University of Nebraska, passed away June 29. At age 95, he was the second-oldest living member of the Hall of Fame.

Born July 31, 1919, in Lincoln, Neb., Behm was only five years old when his chances of playing football almost ended before they started. He was badly burned in a brush fire, and doctors originally wanted to amputate his leg. His leg was saved, but he would not regain full mobility until his senior year of high school.

At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, Behm was one of the biggest Huskers when he walked on as a tackle. Despite having only one year of football experience in high school, he would go on to become a First-Team All-American in 1940 after leading Hall of Fame coach Lawrence “Biff” Jones’ Nebraska squad to the Rose Bowl against national champion Stanford.

Behm was more than just a football player; he was also class president, a ROTC Cadet Colonel, an honor student, a member of the college choir and a recipient of a Harvard Fellowship for graduate study. In 1946, Behm joined the Corning International Corporation, and he ascended the company ranks, eventually becoming president and retiring in 1986. He continued to live in Corning, N.Y., until his passing.

NFF Mourns Passing of 2009 NFF Toner Award Recipient Jim Weaver

Jim Weaver, the former Virginia Tech athletics director and 2009 recipient of the NFF’s John L. Toner Award, passed away July 2 at his home in Blacksburg, Va., after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 70 years old.

“Jim Weaver was a great friend of the National Football Foundation and we are sad to learn of his passing,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “He was a tremendous ambassador for the game of football, having both played and coached the game, and we were pleased to honor him with our Toner Award in 2009 for his outstanding career as an AD. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Traci and their four sons, as well as the entire Virginia Tech family.”

Weaver attended Penn State University, and he played center and linebacker for coaching legends Rip Engle and Joe Paterno. After receiving his master's in college counselor education in 1968, he joined the Penn State coaching staff as an assistant before becoming the offensive coordinator at Iowa State and then spending one season as head coach at Villanova in 1974.

After leaving Villanova, the former coach took a break from athletics and spent five years as an assistant professor at Clarion University (Pa.). The University of Nevada-Las Vegas lured him to become its athletics director in 1991. Hired to turn around the troubled athletic department, Weaver showed a knack for fundraising, and he raised nearly $15 million during his three and a half years in Las Vegas.

Weaver spent one year as athletics director for Western Michigan University prior to being hired by Virginia Tech in 1997. The department committed nearly $200 million toward facilities during his time as the AD, including the building of the south end zone and expansion of the west side of Lane Stadium. At the end of his tenure, he got approval for the new indoor practice facility, a project that was completed just a few weeks ago.

Other achievements of Weaver’s included the addition of high-profile opponents to the Hokies’ football schedules (USC, Nebraska, LSU, Texas A&M) and the spearheading of the “Battle at Bristol” in which Virginia Tech and Tennessee are going to play at Bristol Motor Speedway during the 2016 season. Weaver retired as Virginia Tech’s athletics director in 2013.

2015 NFF Institutional Academic Membership is 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 Presidential Member Ithaca (N.Y.), Founder Member Charlotte and Executive Members Eastern Illinois, Grinnell (Iowa), Lafayette, Nebraska-Kearney and Thomas More (Ky.). 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.


The Hall of Fame launched a special Groupon offer to residents in Birmingham, Ala.; Chattanooga, Tenn; Knoxville, Tenn.; Nashville, Tenn.; Macon, Ga.; and Augusta, Ga. The special deal includes two tickets and two t-shirts for $49.

The Hotel Blitz continues to be a successful campaign. The College Football Hall of Fame Fan Ambassadors and lovable mascot, Fumbles, will “surprise and delight” the top ten downtown Atlanta hotels every day with special gifts including breakfast and coffee and fun giveaways.

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 College Football Hall of Fame and Home Depot celebrated America’s heroes in honor of July 4th. From June 29-July 5, the Hall donated $2 for every full-price ticket sold to the Semper Fi Fund, which works in partnership with The Home Depot to improve the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families.

The Hall of Fame’s mascot, Fumbles, was in the Let Freedom Ring Parade on July 4th in Marietta, Ga.

The Hall of Fame participated in the 2015 AJC Peachtree Road Race Health Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center. Runners tried their hand at a game of cornhole against the Fan Ambassadors for a free t-shirt. Participants in the race were also given a special offer of free admission with the purchase of a regular ticket if they presented their running bid at the box office over the 4th of July weekend.

The College Football Hall of Fame will be a featured category on SPORTS JEOPARDY! on July 15.

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.

The Hall will help kick off the 2015 college football season in a major way on Aug. 3 with the inaugural College Football Huddle-Up Luncheon, presented by the College Football Hall of Fame and the Atlanta Sports Council. Join ESPN College GameDay hosts as they discuss the evolution of College GameDay, Built by the Home Depot. The panel will feature NFF Annual Awards Dinner emcee Rece Davis, the newest addition to the College GameDay team along with show veteran, Lee Corso, who has been at the desk since the first broadcast and accepted the NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award on behalf of the program in 2006; former University of Georgia Linebacker David Pollack and the show’s longtime Senior Coordinating Producer Lee Fitting. The session will also feature a sneak peek at GameDay locations for the upcoming season, analysis and predictions and a look into the College Football Playoff system as we enter season two under the new structure. Click here to purchase tables or individual tickets to the Inaugural College Football Huddle-Up Luncheon.


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


NFF Chairman and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Manning (Mississippi) was recently on The Paul Finebaum Show, where he talked about NFF Board Member Mike Slive’s impact as SEC Commissioner.

NFF Board Member and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has donated $1 million to a cancer initiative started by Houston Texans owner Bob McNair.

NFF Board Member and Apple CEO Tim Cook was named to the Duke University Board of Trustees.

NFF Board Member Rod West, Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer at Entergy Corporation, reflected on the challenges he faced coordinating the efforts to get power returned to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

2009 NFF Chris Schenkel Award recipient Larry Zimmer will return to the broadcast booth this fall for University of Colorado home football games for his 50th and final season calling college football.

2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Coach Bill Snyder joined SiriusXM College Sports’ “First Team,” hosted by Taylor Zarzour and 2010 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Greg McElroy (Alabama), to discuss his 16 goals for success he has for his Kansas State players and how he focuses on instilling great values in everyone who plays for him.

College Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (Syracuse) was among the 28 members of the inaugural class of the newly established Nassau County (N.Y.) High School Athletics Hall of Fame.

College Football Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett (Pittsburgh) will be the keynote speaker at Florida Tech’s fourth annual “Inside The Huddle” event on Aug. 1 on its campus in Melbourne, Fla.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg wrote an article discussing the huge impacts on college football made by Hall of Fame coaches Bobby Bowden and Jimmy Johnson during their tenures at Florida State and Miami (Fla.), respectively.

Arizona State unveiled new practice uniforms that pay tribute to College Football Hall of Famer and 2006 NFF Distinguished American Pat Tillman.

2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Taylor Kelly received Arizona State’s 2014-15 Pac-12 Tom Hansen Conference Medal of Honor. The Conference Medal is awarded annually at each institution to the outstanding senior male and female student-athletes who exhibit “the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.”

2009 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Josh Mahoney will be inducted into the University of Northern Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Sept. 12. 1960 UNI football team will also be inducted.

2009 NFF Gold Medal recipient and Nike co-founder Phil Knight announced he will step down as the company’s chairman of the board.

Presented by

Former NFF Central Pennsylvania Chapter President Frank Rocco, who has worked for many years as an athletics administrator in football operations at Penn State and Liberty University, has penned his first book. Titled “Secrets Are Forever” and published by Archway, the book can be purchased on Amazon. The NFF honored Rocco for his service to the organization in 2010, presenting him with a coveted NFF Chapter Leadership Award.

2013 NFF Chapter Leadership Award recipient Ron Anello from the NFF Essex County (N.J.) Chapter was among eight coaches inducted into the New Jersey Football Coaches Hall of Fame.

The NFF State of Maine Chapter hosted its 16th Annual Golf Tournament yesterday at the Belgrade Lakes Golf Club in Belgrade Lakes, Maine.

The NFFCHOF Bill Dooley (N.C.) Chapter will host its annual Pigskin Preview on July 23 at the Embassy Suites in Cary, N.C. Head coaches in attendance will include Duke’s David Cutcliffe, North Carolina State’s Dave Doeren, North Carolina’s Larry Fedora, North Carolina Central’s Jerry Mack and East Carolina’s Ruffin McNeill.

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


New Football Schools

Construction is underway on the building of the WellStar Press Box at Kennesaw State’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium…


The 2015 meeting between Penn and Villanova has been moved up two days to Thursday, Sept. 24, due to Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia… Auburn and Oregon will play in the 2019 AdvoCare Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019… Oregon State set future games with Idaho State, Portland State and Southern Utah… Weber State has added future home-and-home series with Sacramento State and South Dakota…


The American Sports Network will air nine CAA football games this fall… The Ohio Valley Conference announced the first two and final two games that are part of the league's eight-game football “Game of the Week” package that will be carried on ESPN3 this fall… The Ohio Valley Conference also announced that six conference games this season will air on the American Sports Network… The SEC Network will provide live all-day coverage for all four days of SEC Football Media Days from July 13-16…


Maryland announced that head football coach Randy Edsall has signed a three-year contract extension… New Mexico extended the contract of athletics director Paul Krebs through the 2018-19 academic year… Ilan Ben-Hanan has been promoted to vice president of college sports programming at ESPN…

Conference Alignment

Navy football officially joined the American Athletic Conference on July 1… Belhaven (Miss.) officially began its membership in the American Southwest Conference on July 1, a part of the school’s transition to NCAA Division III membership… Findlay (Ohio), Hillsdale (Mich.), Lake Erie (Ohio), Ohio Dominican and Walsh (Ohio) will join the Great Midwest Athletic Conference for the 2017-18 season as the conference adds football…

Awards & Honors

Former football captain Ebert Van Buren has been elected to the LSU Athletics Hall of Fame… Former football players Sheldon Brown and Kenny McKinley have been elected to the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame… Former wide receiver Jarett Dillard has been elected to the Rice Athletics Hall of Fame… Former head coach Jimmy Satterfield and former defensive back Rodney Johnson have been elected to the Furman Athletics Hall of Fame… Duke consensus All-America offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson was named the 2014-15 Male ACC Athlete of the Year… The members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 11-day period this month. Sixteen of the association’s 22 awards select a preseason watch list…


The largest LED video display in college football is coming to Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2015… Marshall student-athletes can now take advantage of the Buck Harless Student-Athlete Academic Center, a 14,000-square-foot area on the second floor of the Chris Cline Athletic Complex… Iowa State’s $60 million renovation project of Jack Trice Stadium remains on track to be completed by the end of August… Construction began at Villanova Stadium this week on the West End Zone building, an $18 million project which will create a brand new home for the Wildcats football team…


Alumnus Scott Mueller, the CEO of Dealer Tire, has made a gift of $1 million to establish The Scott C. Mueller Endowed Football Scholarship at the University of Miami… South Dakota State athletics announced that $1,033,820 was donated during the 2014-15 fiscal year in annual support of the Jackrabbit Club, the first time that figure has topped the $1 million mark…


Tennessee unveiled its new uniforms… South Dakota School of Mines announced that Under Armour will become the school’s official athletics outfitter…


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 former Los Angeles Times sports editor Paul Zimmerman, the 1976 winner of the Bert McGrane Award…

Community Service

UCLA head coach Jim Mora is offering “Coach for a Day” packages to help child’s cancer fight…

More News of Interest

Florida State will move its 2016 spring game to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando while Doak Campbell Stadium undergoes renovations… The Ohio State University Marching Band will perform prior to the Oct. 25 NFL game at London’s Wembley Stadium… Each school in the SEC will send at least one student-athlete with a compelling story outside of his athletic endeavors to Football Media Days as part of an initiative called “Beyond The Field: Stories of the SEC”…


Former Wyoming, Colorado State, Navy, Houston, Purdue and Texas State assistant coach Clarence A. “Dan” Daniel passed away June 23. He was 82… Former Tennessee football player Pete Athas passed away June 28. He was 67… Northern Arizona football player Michael DeGroote died June 30. He was 22… Former Notre Dame football player Robert Benson passed away June 30. He was 85… Former Minnesota tight end Charlie Sanders passed away July 2. He was 68… Former Notre Dame star Tom Longo passed away July 2. He was 73… Former Montana State defensive back Eryon Barnett died July 4… Former Winston-Salem State (N.C.) football player and assistant coach Dwaine Jackson died. He was 50…


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. 


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 Kelli Hilliard at 404-467-8101 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 by clicking 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


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

Created by the National Football Foundation, is the home for storytelling that promotes the power of amateur football.

corporate partners