National Football Foundation

News Detail

MONDAY'S NFF CHALKTALK – Aug. 3, 2015, Presented by
The latest news and notes from the world of college football for the week of Aug. 3.
Published: 8/3/2015 4:56:00 PM

(Pictured: 2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Lincoln Kennedy (Washington) is joining the Pac-12 Networks’ on-air football talent line-up for the 2015 season.)

NFF Board Members Lead the Charge to Find New Insights on Mild Brain Injuries

The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame highlighted the progress made by GE, led by NFF Board Member Jeff Immelt, and the NFL, led by NFF Board Member Roger Goodell, with their $60 million Head Health Initiative, which was launched in March 2013 to speed diagnosis and improve treatment for mild traumatic brain injury.

The latest results came July 23 with the announcement of the six final winners of the $10 million Head Health Challenge I, whose innovations are advancing the understanding and diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury. The winners, who each were among 16 first-round organizations that received $300,000 in initial funding, have been awarded an additional $500,000 each to continue their research. Their breakthrough ideas include: point-of-care blood test to rapidly detect the presence of mild and moderate brain trauma; biomarkers that indicate how the brain reacts following a traumatic brain injury (TBI); and a method to identify which brain areas become disconnected after injury.

In addition to Challenge I, GE and the NFL launched two additional open innovation challenges to invest in research and technology development to better understand, diagnose and protect against brain injury. Challenge II was initiated by GE, the NFL and Under Armour, led by NFF Board Member Kevin Plank.

NFF National Scholar-Athlete Nominations Now Open

Nomination forms for the NFF’s coveted National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, have been emailed to collegiate sports information directors at all levels of play. Deadline for submissions is Friday, Aug. 28.

Eligible candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility; have a cumulative 3.2 GPA (undergrad); be a starter or significant contributor; and have outstanding leadership and citizenship. Official transcripts as well as a head shot and action photo of the nominee are required.

Each member of the National Scholar-Athlete Class will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, while one member will be selected as the winner of the NFF William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments, and will have his scholarship increased to $25,000. All members of the class will be honored guests at the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on Dec. 8. For any questions pertaining to the National Scholar-Athlete Awards, please email NFF Director of Special Projects Hillary Jeffries at

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 Executive Members Bucknell and Florida State. 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:

·         Sims Runs Thriving Barbecue Business

·         Football Made Education Possible For Slocum, Family

·         An Open Letter From Kyle McKenna – Head Football Coach, Brooklyn Tech High School

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 College Football Hall of Fame helped kick off the 2015 college football season in a major way today with the inaugural College Football Huddle-Up Luncheon, presented by the College Football Hall of Fame and the Atlanta Sports Council. ESPN College GameDay hosts discussed the evolution of College GameDay, Built by the Home Depot. The panel 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 defensive end David Pollack and the show’s longtime Senior Coordinating Producer Lee Fitting. The session also featured 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.

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 Georgia hosted UGA Day at the Hall of Fame on July 27. UGA coaches and administrators shared the latest news on the upcoming athletic seasons. Speakers included head football coach Mark Richt, athletics director Greg McGarity and men’s head basketball coach Mark Fox. The Bulldog football team also hosted kids from an Athens, Ga., youth football league at the Hall. Click here for photos of the event.

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

The Hall of Fame Street Team attended the first weekend of the Atlanta Falcons Training Camp in Flowery Branch, Ga., with tailgating and prizes for fans.

The Hall of Fame will celebrate Educator Day on Saturday, Aug. 15. All educators will receive free admission from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Teachers will learn about the Hall’s T.E.A.M.S. curriculum – a technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and science program. Teachers must present a valid educator ID at the box office to receive free admission. Email for more information.

The inaugural College Football Hall of Fame Golf Classic will be held on Aug. 24 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. Each player will play with a College Football Hall of Famer and receive special gifts courtesy of the Hall of Fame and a team photo. Prizes will be awarded to the top three foursomes at the Awards Luncheon following the tournament. Click here for more information on golf packages.

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) will speak at the Greater Knoxville (Tenn.) Sports Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony on Aug. 4 at the Knoxville Convention Center. 1989 NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award recipient Bob Woodruff will be posthumously inducted.

NFF Board Member and Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby will be among a group of college presidents, athletics administrators, faculty, students and conference commissioners who will convene in Indianapolis Aug. 4-5 for the NCAA DI Strategic Summit on the future of college sports.

NFF Board Member T. Boone Pickens was announced as the keynote speaker for the West Kern Petroleum Summit scheduled for Oct. 16 across from the Oil Worker Monument in Taft, Calif. profiled NFF Board Member and former athletics director and assistant football coach Gene DeFilippo’s influence on his son John, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns.

2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Lincoln Kennedy (Washington) is joining the Pac-12 Networks’ on-air football talent line-up for the 2015 season, joining NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott (Southern California) and others.

College Football Hall of Famer Ray Guy had a roadway bearing his name dedicated on July 28 at the University of Southern Mississippi’s campus in Hattiesburg.

The section of Burt Street between 30th and 33rd Streets in Omaha, Neb., was renamedJohnny Rodgers Street” last week to honor the College Football Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy-winner from Nebraska.

College Football Hall of Famer Tim Brown (Notre Dame) will be in the broadcast booth for the Oakland Raiders’ three locally televised preseason broadcasts in 2015.

1990 William V. Campbell Trophy recipient from Air Force and current President of Hampden-Sydney College (Va.) Chris Howard was re-elected to a three-year term to the Baylor University Board of Regents.

Former quarterback Michael Bishop, 2016 College Football Hall of Fame candidate, and former punter Sean Snyder, the son of 2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Coach Bill Snyder, are members of the 2016 Kansas State Athletics Hall of Fame Class that will be honored in January. Former Voice of the Wildcats Mitch Holthus and former kicker Martin Gramatica are also members of the class.

ESPN College GameDay
, hosted by NFF Annual Awards Dinner emcee Rece Davis, College Football Hall of Famer Desmond Howard (Michigan) and 2006 NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award recipients Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit, will begin the season from Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas, for the matchup between Alabama and Wisconsin at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Sept. 5. The show will also be on hand for the Army-Navy Game in Philadelphia during the last week of the season. The announcement was made live today at the College Football Hall of Fame Huddle-Up Luncheon.

Presented by

Forty-one college football place-kickers were named to the Watch List for the 2015 Fred Mitchell Award, which is presented each year at the NFF Chicago Metro Chapter. The award recognizes the top non-FBS place-kicker for excellence on the football field and in the community. 

The NFF State of Maine Chapter will host its ninth annual “Kick-Off Luncheon” on Aug. 6 at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Center in Portland. Head coaches Mark Harriman (Bates), J.B. Wells (Bowdoin), Jon Michaeles (Colby), Gabby Price (Husson), Chris McKenney (Maine Maritime) and Jack Cosgrove (Maine) will all be on hand to preview the upcoming season.

On Aug. 6, the NFF Miami Touchdown Club Chapter will honor former Miami (Fla.), Louisville, Oklahoma and Florida Atlantic head coach Howard Schnellenberger at the Signature Grand in Davie, Fla. Click here for event details and to purchase tickets.

As part of the NFF Colorado Chapter’s board meeting on Aug. 11, members of the board will meet at the Denver Broncos headquarters and attend the team’s practice.

The NFF Sacramento Valley (Calif.) Chapter will host its Football Coaches Kickoff Brunch in conjunction with MaxPreps on Aug. 23 Carmichael Elks Club in Carmichael, Calif.

The NFF Tom Lombardo/St. Louis Chapter will hold its 2015 Kick Off Luncheon on Sept. 9 featuring St. Louis Rams General Manager Les Snead.

The Nebraska Football Hall of Fame, sponsored by the NFF Nebraska Chapter, announced its 2015 Class. Former Nebraska players Brook Berringer, Josh Bullocks, Scott Frost, Jeff Krejci, Demorrio Williams and Harry Wilson, along with former Midland (Neb.) player Brad Colburn, will be inducted at a dinner on Sept. 11 and introduced prior to Nebraska’s football game with South Alabama on Sept. 12.

The NFF Westchester (N.Y.) Chapter will hold its 2015 charity golf classic on Sept. 28 at the Apawamis Club in Rye, N.Y.  The event will raise scholarship funds for Westchester’s scholar-athletes.


New Football Schools

The countdown to the start of the inaugural Kennesaw State football season officially got underway when the Owls held their first practice of camp on Aug. 1… Kennesaw State is also launching Owls Insight, a weekly podcast show bringing you up close and personal with coaches and players during the season… The Owls’ opening week opponent and fellow football start-up East Tennessee State will open its preseason practice on Aug. 6…


Michigan and Army West Point will meet in 2019… Kentucky has added New Mexico State to its 2016 schedule… SMU and Texas State have agreed to a home-and-home series in 2019 and 2020… San Jose State will host Portland State in 2016 and Cal Poly in 2017… UTSA completed its 2016 non-conference schedule with the addition of Alabama State… LSU has added Chattanooga to its 2017 schedule... BYU and UNLV have rescheduled their 2015 game to 2017… The Big Ten Conference announced a “strength of schedule commitment” for its member teams beginning in 2016 and that BYU and Notre Dame would satisfy that criteria…


The Big South Conference announced its 2015 football broadcast schedule, which features 11 games exclusively on ESPN3 and the American Sports Network… Campus Insiders will broadcast eight Patriot League football games this fall… Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Dartmouth, Rice, Stanford and Vanderbilt are the first schools partnering with STRIVR Labs on an immersive virtual reality platform that replicates the field experience in the classroom…


Furman introduced Mike Buddie as the school’s new athletics director… Southern Utah appointed Jason Butikofer as Athletics Director… Brady Barke has begun his new role as Southeast Missouri State’s interim director of athletics… St. Olaf (Minn.) appointed Ryan Bowles as its athletics director… Northwood (Mich.) announced that Leonard Haynes will serve as interim head football coach for the 2015 season…

College Football Playoff

Fans can start making plans to be a part of the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 11, through Playoff Premium’s variety of packages at various price ranges and seating locations. Click here for more information…

Awards & Honors

2014 Campbell Trophy semifinalist Charles Harris (Memphis) was named the American Athletic Conference’s 2014-15 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award recipient for football… Georgia Tech will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1990 National Championship football season this fall, culminating with a celebration during the Nov. 12 game vs. Virginia Tech… The American Athletic Conference announced its 2014-15 All-Academic Team… Former football players Jimmy Nix and Chris West have been elected to the Wagner College Hall of Fame… Colorado State quarterback Garrett Grayson was named the 2014-15 Mountain West Conference Male Athlete of the Year… Former Mississippi running back Deuce McAllister has been elected to the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame…


Single-game tickets for this fall’s six North Dakota State home football games sold out within an hour, marking the fourth straight year NDSU has sold out the entire football season on the first day…


Southern Miss announced the launch of the Bower Academic Excellence Center Campaign, a $2 million capital campaign to fund a new student-athlete academic center named in honor of long-time Golden Eagle football coach Jeff Bower… Nevada is finalizing plans for the upcoming $11.5 million renovation of Mackay Stadium… Iowa is proposing significant new improvements to its athletics facilities complex, including the renovation of the north stands at Kinnick Stadium…


Tennessee’s Athletics Department collected a record $48.4 million in cash and support in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015… Penn State’s Nittany Lion Club annual fund giving to support student-athletes surpassed $16.6 million in 2014-15… Minnesota Duluth Athletics capped off another record-setting year for fundraising in 2014-15…


Arizona State unveiled its new football uniforms for the 2015 season…


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 Pat Harmon of the Cincinnati Post, the 2004 winner of the Bert McGrane Award, 2004 recipient of the NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award and former NFF Historian… Brad Pye Jr., a sports journalist, broadcaster and long-time member of the FWAA, was honored by the City of Los Angeles recently when it named the gymnasium at Saint Andrews Recreation Center after him…

Community Service

Since the spring, Tennessee football players had donated their time and strength to building a Habitat for Humanity home in East Knoxville, which they presented to the family last week… As part of Sun Belt Conference Media Day, conference head football coaches and student-athletes teamed up with the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, the Allstate Sugar Bowl & the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl to provide a free youth football clinic to children in the area…

More News of Interest

The Orange Bowl will host its annual Health & Wellness Fair at Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Aug. 8… Members of the Kentucky football team recounted their educational trip to Prague, Czech Republic, during the summer…


Former University of Chicago football player David Baker died July 20. He was 37… Former New Mexico Highlands football player and longtime high school football coach Thurman Simmons passed away July 24. He was 84… Former Minnesota sports information director Bob Peterson passed away July 26 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 83… Alma (Mich.) defensive lineman Rishaul Nital died July 27. He was 22… Former Yale football player Mike Pyle passed away July 29. He was 76… Former Missouri running back Curtis Brown passed away July 30. He was 60… Former Louisiana Tech football player Clyde Thompson passed away July 31. He was 78… Former University of Kansas chancellor Robert Hemenway passed away July 31. He was 73… Former Syracuse football player Rich Panczyszyn recently passed away. He was 68… Former Columbia quarterbacks David Erwin and Jerry Hines both passed away in July…


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, presented by Fidelity Investments – 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 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

Dec. 31, 2015
– The 11th Annual NFF National Hall of Fame Salute at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – Atlanta, Ga.

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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