National Football Foundation

News Detail

MONDAY'S NFF CHALKTALK – Aug. 10, 2015, Presented by
The latest news and notes from the world of college football for the week of Aug. 10.
Published: 8/10/2015 5:24:00 PM

College Football Hall of Famer and 1984 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Doug Flutie (Boston College) and 2003 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Jonathan Vilma are taking prominent roles in NBC's coverage of Notre Dame football this season. Flutie 

will serve as lead analyst for the games while Vilma 

will join the broadcast team as a pregame and halftime analyst.)

Voters Announced for 2015 FWAA-NFF Super 16 College Football Poll

The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced the names of the voters who will participate in the 2015 FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll, a ranking of the top teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision that will be released each week beginning with a preseason poll on Thursday, Aug. 13. Click here for the complete list of voters, which consists of FWAA writers, College Football Hall of Famers, NFF Board Members and highly regarded collegiate administrators.

The results will be released by 11:30 a.m. ET each Sunday of the 2015 regular season, and the plans include a preseason poll to be released Thursday, Aug. 13. The first poll of the season will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 8, to account for the games that will be played on Labor Day. The final poll will be released Dec. 6, the day after the conference championship games. The votes of each member will be made public each week during the season.

Hall of Famer and USC Legend Frank Gifford Passes Away

Frank Gifford, a 1975 College Football Hall of Fame inductee from the University of Southern California, passed away Aug. 9 in Greenwich, Conn. He was 84 years old.

Gifford played at USC from 1949-51, and he received All-America and all-conference honors his senior year, splitting time at fullback, quarterback, halfback, punter and placekicker. He made the Trojans’ first field goal in 14 years, rushed for 841 yards and rolled up 1,144 yards in total offense.

He was selected by the New York Giants with the 11th overall pick in the 1952 NFL Draft, and played with the team from 1952-64. He appeared in eight Pro Bowls and led the Giants in rushing four years in a row, finishing his career with franchise records for touchdowns and receiving yards. Gifford helped the Giants to five NFL championship games, including the NFL title in 1956 when he was voted the league MVP.

After his playing days, he became a TV sports commentator, best known for his NFL play-by-play commentating on ABC’s “Monday Night Football” from 1971-97, primarily with Howard Cosell and fellow College Football Hall of Famer Don Meredith (SMU) in the booth. He also covered the Olympics for ABC, received two Emmy Awards and won the Pete Rozelle Award for broadcasting from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

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. 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:

·         Austin Running Back Stops At Nothing To Provide For Family

·         Former Ute Sampson Encourages Kids To Get Out And Play

·         Calallen Tackles Community Service At Driscoll And Beyond

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 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 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 helped 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. ESPN personalities discussed the evolution of College GameDay, Built by the Home Depot. The panel featured 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, 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 Hall of Fame Street Team attended the Atlanta Falcons Friday Night Lights event at Buford High School in Buford, Ga., on Aug. 7. Fans got the chance to tailgate and score free prizes.

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. For questions or to purchase a package to the College Football Hall of Fame Golf Classic, please contact Debbie Golden at (404) 880-4842 or


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


2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Coach Bill Snyder discussed his Kansas State football team during the Wildcats’ Media Day.

College Football Hall of Fame coach Gene Stallings will be the keynote speaker at an Aug. 15 fundraiser benefiting Mission of Hope Ministries Inc. in Mobile, Ala.

College Football Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden will be the guest speaker at the 2015 Lamar Football Banquet on Aug. 23 at Ford Park Arena in Beaumont, Texas.

College Football Hall of Famer Maxie Baughan (Georgia Tech) will be inducted into the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame this season.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is set to honor College Football Hall of Famer John David Crow (Texas A&M). The university will name the athletics director office in his honor and endow an athletic scholarship named after Crow and his wife Carolyn to help fifth-year seniors that are out of eligibility and a few credits short of graduation pay for school. Crow, who passed away in June, served as both athletics director and head coach at ULM.

College Football Hall of Fame coach Mike Kelly, who led Dayton to the Division III National Championship in 1989, spoke to the Bradford (Ohio) High School football team about teamwork, goals and commitment.

College Football Hall of Famer and 1982 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Dave Rimington (Nebraska) will be honored with the Tom Osborne Leadership Award from Leadership Hastings at a banquet on Oct. 8. Leadership Hastings is an enrichment program coordinated by volunteers and designed to foster the community's quality of life through leadership development, awareness enhancement, and community involvement.

2009 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Tim Hiller (Western Michigan) has a new book called “Strive,” in which he leads the reader on a year-long journey, taking small steps each week on the path to making the reader’s life matter. The book is now available for pre-order from Amazon and will be released on Oct. 1.

Former NFF National Scholar-Athletes Will Furrer (1991) and Bryan Randall (2004) will be inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame during a dinner on Sept. 11 and introduced to fans at halftime of Tech’s home football game against Furman the next day. Joining them in the class is former tailback Roscoe Coles.

NBC and Notre Dame will kick off the 25th season of one of the most successful partnerships in sports, when the “Fighting Irish” host Texas on Saturday, Sept. 5. College Football Hall of Famer and 1984 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Doug Flutie (Boston College) will serve as lead analyst for the games and 2003 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Jonathan Vilma (Miami [Fla.]) will join the broadcast team as a pregame and halftime analyst.

Presented by

Thurman Simmons, long-time board member and vice president of the NFF Valley of the Sun (Ariz.) Chapter, passed away July 24 at the age of 84. A dedicated high school coach and teacher in New Mexico and Arizona where his teams won 12 division championships, he was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2001 and received the chapter’s Frank Kush  Lifetime Achievement Coaching Award in 1996.

Past president of the NFF Northern Connecticut Chapter, longtime high school football coach and former Connecticut fullback Glenn McLellan passed away Aug. 2. He was 77.

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.

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 Sacramento Valley (Calif.) Chapter will host its Football Coaches Kickoff Brunch in conjunction with MaxPreps on Aug. 23 at the 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

Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee wrote a great feature on the building of Kennesaw State’s football program and all that goes into the process of building a program from scratch… Lyon (Ark.) preps for its first football game in 61 years…


Alabama and Louisville will open the 2018 season at the Orlando Citrus Bowl… North Carolina and Old Dominion have agreed to a home-and-home series in 2017 and 2020… Old Dominion has also added Buffalo, Hampton and VMI to its future football schedules… Montana will play at Oregon in 2019 and at Washington in 2017 and 2021… Troy finalized its 2017 football schedule with the addition of Alabama State… Norfolk State has added James Madison, Richmond and William and Mary to its future football schedules…


Army West Point football will hold its annual Media Day on Thursday, Aug. 13… In advance of the 2015 college football season, The Home Depot College Football Awards Preview Show aired over the weekend on ESPNU. The show, which highlighted the watch lists of nine of the most prestigious accolades in college football, will air three more times before the season begins. The 25th annual The Home Depot College Football Awards will move to the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience this season in downtown Atlanta on Thursday, Dec. 10…


Beth Goetz
has been named the interim athletics director at Minnesota… Ryan Ivey was named the new director of athletics at Austin Peay State… Texas A&M-Commerce named Josh Jorgensen as interim director of athletics… Amy Schafer has been named the next director of athletics at Thiel (Pa.)… Moravian (Pa.) has named George Bright as its next director of athletics… Western Carolina athletics director Randy Eaton received a four-year contract extension…

College Football Playoff

Fans can start making plans to be a part of the 2016 College Football Playoff (CFP) 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… The CFP also announced it will expand its program to offset expenses for student-athletes’ parents or guardians to travel to the Playoff Semifinals this season, in addition to the National Championship…

Bowl Games

The San Diego Bowl Game Association will host the LM Capital Group $1 Million Hole-in-One Shootout at Stadium Golf Center Sept. 7-11 and Sept. 14-18…

Awards & Honors

Former head coach Gary Barnett has been elected to the Northwestern Athletics Hall of Fame… Former football players Ed Marsh and Tom Muecke have been elected to the Baylor University Athletics Hall of Fame… Virginia Tech has renamed Spring Road, which runs alongside the west stands and press box of Lane Stadium, in honor of head coach Frank Beamer


Kansas State officially opened the new Vanier Family Football Complex… Cincinnati hopes to draw a capacity crowd in the 40,000 range for the grand reopening of Nippert Stadium on Sept. 5, when UC plays Alabama A&M. The $86 million renovation of Nippert is on time and on budget… Prairie View A&M is in the process of building a $60 million, 15,000-seat football stadium and sports complex, which will open for its first game in September 2016… Northern Iowa is planning many new facility upgrades, including a $200,000 football operations center and a new turf playing surface at the UNI-Dome… Stephen F. Austin will upgrade the video and scoreboards at Homer Bryce Stadium…


Arizona’s Wildcat Club set a membership record for the second consecutive year after finishing 2015 with 12,900 members… Northern State (S.D.) announced that the Wolves Club has set a new record for annual giving to NSU Athletics… Blue Jays Unlimited, the fundraising arm of the Johns Hopkins (Md.) Athletics, had a record-breaking year for its annual fund in 2014-15…

Marketing and Uniforms

San Diego State unveiled its new football uniforms for the 2015 season… Texas A&M unveiled an alternate football uniform which will be worn during the game on Halloween against South Carolina… Utah unveiled a throwback uniform that will be worn for the Homecoming game against California on Oct. 10… Michigan announced a year-long celebration in honor of the 150th anniversary of Michigan Athletics… Princeton and IMG have come to terms on a multimedia rights agreement… Dakota Wesleyan unveiled new athletic logos…


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 Birmingham Post-Herald’s Bill Lumpkin, the 1997 winner of the Bert McGrane Award…

Community Service

Arkansas will host a Prostate Cancer Awareness Game for the season opener on Saturday, Sept. 5 against UTEP… The American Athletic Conference announced a partnership with USA Football to promote participation in youth football and advance a better and safer game at all levels…

More News of Interest

This fall, Michigan will become the first collegiate athletic department to utilize Virtual Reality for recruiting and fan engagement… Two-year junior college Hocking College in Ohio will take the field for the first time this fall… Kennesaw State is launching FlightPlan, a new program for student-athletes aimed at preparing them for life after sports… Nike built an incredible display for Marcus Mariota’s Heisman Trophy, which is on display at Oregon… Iowa is adding live music to its pregame activities this football season…


Charlotte offensive line coach and former Marshall All-America offensive lineman Phil Ratliff passed away Aug. 9. He was 44… Former Mount Union (Ohio) running back Vincent Marotta, who went on to become one of the co-founders of the iconic Mr. Coffee brand, passed away Aug. 1. He was 91… Former UCLA consensus First Team All-America halfback Mel Farr passed away Aug. 3. He was 70… Former Alabama football player Joe King passed away Aug. 3. He was 47… Former Emporia State (Kan.) football player Robert Banister passed away Aug. 3. He was 84… Former West Texas A&M football player Norman Shackelford passed away Aug. 4. He was 83… Former Morehead State head football coach and assistant coach at Maryland, Kentucky, Arizona State and Georgetown (Ky.) Jake Hallum passed away Aug. 6. He was 76… Ervil Swinney, the father of Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney, passed away Aug. 8. He was 70… Former Texas football George Seay Jr. passed away. He was 74… Former North Carolina A&T football player and assistant coach at Winston-Salem State Otis Hawkins passed away. He was 79...


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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