National Football Foundation

News Detail

MONDAY'S NFF CHALKTALK – Aug. 24, 2015, Presented by
The latest news and notes from the world of college football for the week of Aug. 24.
Published: 8/24/2015 4:55:00 PM

(Pictured: The NFF highlighted on Sunday the first anniversary of the opening of the new College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience in Atlanta, which opened on Aug. 23, 2014, to rave reviews and widespread praise.)

NFF Celebrates Hall’s First Anniversary in Atlanta

The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame highlighted on Sunday the first anniversary of the opening of the new College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience in Atlanta, which opened on Aug. 23, 2014, to rave reviews and widespread praise.

“We knew that downtown Atlanta offered the perfect setting for the new Hall, and the city, as well as people from all over the country, have embraced our new home in Atlanta as a major epicenter for college football,” said Archie Manning, the chairman of the NFF, which launched the Hall in 1951 and partnered with the city of Atlanta to raise the money and open the new Hall in 2014. “We knew we had something special in the planning stages, and it has been even better in reality.”

Click here for more on the Hall’s first year, including marquee moments and testimonials from some of the game’s biggest names.

Athletics Directors Molded on the Gridiron

The NFF announced a campaign to showcase all of the nation’s athletics directors who played football and how their experiences helped prepare them for leadership roles on our nation’s college campuses. The campaign will capture the unique stories of each athletics director, and the stories will appear throughout the season on, a powerful new addition to the NFF’s efforts to highlight the good in the game and the lifelong benefits to those who play it.

The stories on athletics directors and their experiences becomes the latest addition to the NFF’s larger #FootballMatters Campaign, which 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 spotlight on athletics directors will capture their thoughts on what football has meant to them and the elements that have had the most impact on their careers.

Need-to-Know Rules Changes for 2015 Season

With training camps in full swing, the month of August provides the perfect time for the NFF to highlight the key rule changes that will take effect during the 2015 season.

Since 2011, the NFF has partnered with Rogers Redding, the national coordinator of College Football Officiating (CFO), to help generate awareness for the rule changes in college football through a series of regular columns distributed by the NFF. The CFO functions as the national professional organization for all football officials who work games at the collegiate level, and the organization held its annual winter meeting of conference coordinators for football officials in late January for the third consecutive year at the NFF headquarters in Irving, Texas. Click here for all of the 2015 major rule changes.

Final Week for NFF National Scholar-Athlete Nominations

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 THIS 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 he will have his scholarship increased to $25,000. All members of the class will be recognized 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

FWAA Unveils 75th Anniversary All-America Teams

The Football Writers Association of America proudly announced its 75th Anniversary All-America Team, celebrating the association’s All-America teams from near the end of World War II through the 2014 season. The FWAA, which was founded in 1941, has picked an annual All-America team since the 1944 season, making it the second longest continuously selected team in major college football.

The teams feature 56 members of the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame (including NFF Board Members Archie Griffin [Ohio State], Ronnie Lott [Southern California] and Roger Staubach [Navy]), five NFF National Scholar-Athletes and two William V. Campbell Trophy winners (offensive lineman Barrett Jones from Alabama and quarterback Tim Tebow from Florida). Click here to see the FWAA’s complete 75th Anniversary All-America Team.

FCS Kickoff: First Game of the 2015 Season on Saturday

The 2015 college football seasons officially gets underway this weekend as North Dakota State and Montana meet in the FCS Kickoff on Saturday, Aug. 29. The game will air on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. ET, and 2011 NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award recipient Brent Musburger and analyst Jesse Palmer will be on the call.

2015 NFF Institutional Academic Membership

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 Members Fordham, Liberty, Memphis and Mississippi and Executive Members Northwestern, Northwestern State, San Jose State and Southern Utah. 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:

·         Hall of Famer Lanier Donates $500,000 to Alma Mater

·         Ball State’s Richard Has a True Success Story

·         Jack Ford, Former Yale Defensive Back Now Major News Correspondent

·         Georgia’s Malcolm Mitchell Writes Children’s Book

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.

2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association

Launched in 2008, 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. For more information on the program or to enroll for 2015, please email Ron Dilatush at

Past NFF National Scholar-Athletes Dave Casper (Notre Dame, 1973-College Football Hall of Famer), Paul Choquette (Brown, 1959), Morgan Copeland (Texas, 1977), Jim Hansen (Colorado, 1992 Campbell Trophy), Bob Johnson (Tennessee, 1967-College Football Hall of Famer), Rex Kern (Ohio State, 1970-College Football Hall of Famer), George Kunz (Notre Dame, 1968), Eli Manning (Mississippi, 2003), Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997 Campbell Trophy), Alan Rozycki (Dartmouth, 1960) and John Sciarra (UCLA, 1975-College Football Hall of Famer) have joined this week. Click here for more information and to see the members of the 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association.


The inaugural College Football Hall of Fame Golf Classic took place today at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. Each player played with a College Football Hall of Famer and received special gifts courtesy of the Hall of Fame and a team photo. Prizes were awarded to the top three foursomes at the Awards Luncheon following the tournament.

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 celebrated its first year in Atlanta on Aug. 23, offering free admission to any guest if their age ended in 1(11, 21, 31, etc.). In addition, the Hall hosted a special Q&A panel featuring College Football Hall of Famers Charles Alexander (LSU), Kevin Butler (Georgia), Tommie Frazier (Nebraska), Coach Philip Fulmer (Tennessee), Tracy Ham (Georgia Southern), Shelby Jordan (Washington University in St. Louis [Mo.]) and Mark Simoneau (Kansas State). The Hall also held the official unveiling of the Hall of Fame Blade commemorating the 2014 Class, with members Dré Bly (North Carolina), Dave Butz (Purdue), Joe Hamilton (Georgia Tech), Coach Jerry Moore (Appalachian State) and Darrin Nelson (Stanford) in attendance.

The College Football Hall of Fame will host the UPS Business Solution Series on Sept. 5 to celebrate the two rivals in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game this year. The panel will feature former Louisville head coach Howard Schnellenberger, former Auburn football and baseball player Frank Thomas and current Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs. The event will be moderated by former alumnus and Auburn quarterback Stan White. The event is open to the public and will start at 10 a.m. ET.

The Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A have partnered to host the first Chick-fil-A Mommy & Me Clinic. The event will take place on Sept. 26 from 9 a.m.-Noon ET. The event offers an exclusive family friendly football clinic for mothers and their children. Activities will include on-field football skill competitions, drills, Chick-fil-A food, interaction with Hall of Famers and access to the interactive experiences within the Hall. To register for the event please visit


·         Atlanta's College Football Hall of Fame Raises the Bar

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


College Football Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas (Alabama) and Hall of Famer and 1996 Campbell Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel (Florida) will both be featured in SEC Storied documentaries slated to run in September. “Wuerffel's Way presented by Chick-fil-A” will premiere on ESPN this Friday, Aug. 28, at 7:30 p.m. ET. “In Search of Derrick Thomas presented by Belk” will premiere on the SEC Network on Sept. 29.

Houston unveiled a statue of College Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Yeoman as part of Fan Appreciation Day at TDECU Stadium.

College Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU) will be honored for his work in the community at the 2015 Bobby Bragan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award Gala on Nov. 12 at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas.

College Football Hall of Famer Bill Redell (Occidental [Calif.]) will be honored on Aug. 28 when Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, Calif., names its field after him.

College Football Hall of Fame coach and 1995 NFF Distinguished American Award recipient Tom Osborne (Nebraska) will be the featured speaker at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming’s 17th annual Awards and Recognition Breakfast on Sept. 1.

College Football Hall of Famers from Nebraska, Tommie Frazier and Coach Tom Osborne, will be on-hand to help celebrate the start of the college football season at the Third Annual Fiesta Bowl Kickoff Luncheon at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix on Sept. 3.

1995 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Dave Dickenson (Montana) was inducted into the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame over the weekend.

2009 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Dr. Jarrell NeSmith will be inducted into the Tusculum College (Tenn.) Sports Hall of Fame on Oct. 10. Former quarterback Corey Russell will also be inducted.

The Detroit Free Press profiled how 2015 NFF Toner Award winner and Michigan State Athletics Director Mark Hollis overcame a painful past to guide MSU sports.

The SEC will help raise awareness of prostate cancer prevention and honor former commissioner and 2015 NFF Legacy Award recipient Mike Slive, who battled the disease during his athletics administration career, with Prostate Cancer Awareness Games on each of the 14 league campuses during the month of September, beginning with Western Kentucky at Vanderbilt on Sept. 3.

Presented by

The NFF Little Rock Touchdown Club/Arkansas Chapter announced its 2015 Speaker Series. Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema spoke today at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Little Rock. Next Monday, Aug. 31, former Arkansas football players Peyton Hillis and Felix Jones will speak at the Embassy Suites in west Little Rock.

The NFF Touchdown Club of Atlanta Chapter is hosting a Kickoff event at the College Football Hall of Fame on Sept. 3, featuring the game between North Carolina and South Carolina on the Big Screen. Click here for tickets, which include a buffet, an open bar and a tour of the College Football Hall of Fame.

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 chapter will hold its Paul Savage Sr. Memorial Golf Tournament on Sept. 20 at Columbia Golf Course in Columbia, Ill. Proceeds from both events go towards chapter initiatives and scholarships.

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

Kennesaw State’s inaugural home game against Edward Waters (Fla.) at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on Sept. 12 is an official sellout… The return of East Tennessee State football has made a positive financial impact on the university and the community…


Indiana and Louisville have signed an agreement to play a three-game series… Florida Atlantic and South Florida have agreed to a home-and-home series in 2020 and 2022… Oregon and North Dakota State have agreed to a game in 2020… San Diego State has added future home games with Sacramento State in 2018 and Weber State in 2019… South Alabama Jaguars completed its 2018 non-conference schedule with the addition of a game against Alabama State… North Carolina has added The Citadel to its 2016 schedule…


The FOX Sports 1 Opening Drive tour, highlighted by a full-sized tour bus wrapped in khaki fabric celebrating the look made famous by first-year Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, is traveling the country en route to Salt Lake City for the network’s first game of the season on Sept. 3 between Michigan and Utah… Wingate (N.C.) has become the first NCAA Division II school in the nation to sign an exclusive campus-wide streaming agreement with ESPN3…


Former head coach Gary Barnett will join Colorado’s football broadcast team on a limited basis this fall, and in 2016, he will replace 2009 NFF Chris Schenkel Award recipient Larry Zimmer as the full-time analyst… Idaho State athletics director Jeff Tingey will serve as this year’s president of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association…

College Football Playoff

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


Kansas State’s football locker room will be named in honor of former wide receiver Jordy Nelson and his wife Emily after the couple generously pledged a philanthropic contribution to K-State Athletics… A $45 million concourse renovation project has begun at West Virginia’s Milan Puskar Stadium…


Miami (Ohio) athletics raised a record $28.3 million in the fiscal year 2015…

Marketing and Uniforms

Arizona State unveiled its new ‘Desert Ice’ alternate uniforms, which will be worn during the Sun Devils game on Sept. 5 against Texas A&M at NRG Stadium in Houston… Northern Illinois will kick off the 50th Anniversary season of Huskie Stadium on Sept. 5 versus UNLV wearing 1965 "throwback" uniforms… The Ball State football team will have six different helmet designs this 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 former Waco Tribune-Herald sports editor and the founder and editor-in-chief of Texas Football Dave Campbell, the 1988 winner of the Bert McGrane Award…

Community Service

Kentucky’s football team spent Sunday afternoon with Special Olympics football players from the Lexington area, doing position drills and a scrimmage…

More News of Interest

Indiana football is building a library of virtual reality plays… East Carolina director of athletics Jeff Compher has been invited to participate in the 2015 Senior Leader Engagement Program sponsored by United States Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter… Augustana College (S.D.) will change its name to Augustana University on Sept. 1…


Former Carnegie Mellon (Pa.) football player and Emmy-nominated director of “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” Bud Yorkin passed away Aug. 18. He was 89… Former Chadron State (Neb.) football player Gary B. Tuggle passed away Aug. 7. He was 78… Former Colgate star offensive guard James Groh, who went on to become an orthopedic surgeon, passed away Aug. 17. He was 90… Thomas More (Ky.) football player Mitchell Kramer died Aug. 17. He was 21… Former Oregon football player Mike Gaechter passed away Aug. 17. He was 75… Former Case Western Reserve (Ohio) offensive tackle Andrew Zajac died Aug. 19 while battling wildfires blazing through the state of Washington. He was 26… Former Michigan State football player Bill Dawson passed away. He was 65…


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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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