National Football Foundation

News Detail

NFF CHALKTALK – Jan. 27, 2016, Presented by
Latest news & notes from the world of college football.
Published: 1/27/2016 1:40:00 PM

(Pictured: The College Football Playoff (CFP) announced that College Football Hall of Fame coaches Lloyd Carr (Michigan) and Herb Deromedi(Central Michigan) are among the four new members who have been appointed to the CFP Selection Committee. The other two new members are former Southern Miss head coach Jeff Bower and Oregon athletics director Rob Mullens.)

Hall of Famer and University of Kentucky Great Lou Michaels Passes Away

Lou Michaels, a 1992 College Football Hall of Fame inductee from the University of Kentucky, passed away Jan. 19 in his native Swoyersville, Pa. He was 80 years old.

Competing on both the offensive and defensive lines, Michaels blossomed into a consensus All-American as a junior and senior in 1956 and 1957 at a time when only 11 players were recognized on the national teams. He was voted SEC Player of the Year by the league coaches as a senior, and he finished fourth in balloting for the Heisman Trophy. Michaels’ jersey (No. 79) was retired by Kentucky in 1990.

Football Officiating Coordinators Return to NFF Headquarters for Annual Meeting

The annual winter meeting of Division I conference coordinators for football officials took place for the fourth consecutive year at the National Football Foundation’s headquarters in Irving, Texas. The meeting, held Jan. 25-26, was led by Mid-American Conference Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, the chairman of the College Football Officiating (CFO) Board of Managers, and Rogers Redding, the CFO National Coordinator.

This Week on

The NFF continues to promote, the organization’s newest addition to its campaign to highlight the good in the game and the lifelong benefits to those who play it. Recent headlines on the site include:

·         Arizona State AD Ray Anderson Gives First Ever “Cultural Gift” to Student-Athletes

·         Friends of Jaclyn Foundation Gives Elijah and Jackson a Shot at College Football

·         Police Officer and Cancer Patient Bond Through Football

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.


Fans who wear college spirit gear from a school with a member in the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class will receive a 16 percent discount on entry to the Hall during the entire month of January. The 16 schools with a member of the 2016 class include Nebraska Omaha, Florida State, Ohio State, UNLV, Iowa State, North Carolina, LSU, Wisconsin, Harvard, Colorado, Ashland (Ohio), Washington State, Georgia, Purdue, New Hampshire and Lycoming (Pa.).

The College Football Hall of Fame, the Touchdown Club of Atlanta-NFF Chapter, Fox 5 and 680 The Fan are partnering to host a National Signing Day Party at the Hall of Fame on Feb. 3. More than 200 Georgia scholar-athletes will declare their intentions to play college football at this special event, which will be broadcast live by Fox 5 and 680 The Fan.


The College Football Hall of Fame opened its doors Aug. 23, 2014, in the heart of Atlanta’s sports, entertainment and tourism district. Adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park, the new Hall provides visitors with a highly immersive, interactive and engaging experience using a blend of historic college football artifacts and state-of-the-art, interactive multimedia exhibits. To plan your visit and purchase tickets, visit

THE BLITZ went behind the scenes with NFF Board Member Kevin Plank and his company, Under Armour.

The College Football Playoff (CFP) announced that College Football Hall of Fame coaches Lloyd Carr (Michigan) and Herb Deromedi (Central Michigan) are among the four new members who have been appointed to the CFP Selection Committee. The other two new members are former Southern Miss head coach Jeff Bower and Oregon athletics director Rob Mullens.

College Football Hall of Fame coach and 2004 NFF John L. Toner Award recipient Vince Dooley was selected as the professional recipient of the Wooden Cup, which is given to a collegiate and a professional or Olympic athlete who have made the greatest positive influence in the lives of others. 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy recipient Ty Darlington (Oklahoma) and Denison (Ohio) football player Lucas Romick are among five finalists for the 2016 Collegiate Wooden Cup, which will be announced at the award ceremony April 27.

College Football Hall of Famer Curt Warner (Penn State) will be enshrined into the State of West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame at the 70th annual Victory Awards Dinner on May 15.

College Football Hall of Famer Eddie George (Ohio State) will perform in a seven-week stint in the musical Chicago on Broadway from Jan. 11-Feb. 28, 2016.

College Football Hall of Famer Earl Campbell (Texas) will take part in a luncheon presented by the State of Texas Sports Hall of Fame honoring former Texas coach Fred Akers on Feb. 2 at the Ridgewood County Club Ballroom in Waco, Texas.

Named for College Football Hall of Famer and 2006 NFF Distinguished American Pat Tillman (Arizona State), the East-West Shrine Game presented the 2016 Pat Tillman Award to Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a 2014 NFF Leadership Hall of Fame inductee, signed a bill that will provide up to $25 million in tax credits to Rutgers to fund facility construction scheduled as part of a grand athletics vision.

2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Spencer Drango (Baylor) will play in the 2016 Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan. 30 in Mobile, Ala., at 2:30 p.m. ET on the NFL Network.

2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Jason Vander Laan (Ferris State [Mich.]) was named to the 2015 GLIAC Football All-Academic Excellence Team.

NFF Program Updates

The NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Day, presented by Fidelity Investments, is a daily segment honoring the semifinalists for the 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments. Today’s honoree is John Brennan, a defensive end at Marist who maintains a 3.28 GPA in history.

Presented by

The NFF Clark County (Wash.) Chapter held its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Jan. 20 at Hudson Bay High School in Vancouver, Wash. Portland State head football coach Bruce Barnum was the guest speaker, and the chapter distributed $15,000 in scholarships to six standout scholar-athletes.

Joe Esposito
, a Portland (Maine) High School senior, became the 45th winner of the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy, which goes to Maine’s top senior high school football player. The presentation took place at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, and the NFF Howie Vandersea State of Maine Chapter provided organizational support for the event with both Howie Vandersea and Chapter President Marty Ryan making remarks.

The NFF Passaic County (N.J.) Chapter will host its annual Sports Nut Night on Jan. 27 at the American Legion Hall in Totowa, N.J.

The Touchdown Club of Atlanta-NFF Chapter will hold its 2016 Awards Banquet Jan. 28 at the Atlanta Holiday Inn. Mac McWhorter, a longtime college assistant football coach with stops at Georgia, Georgia Tech, Penn State and Texas among many others, will be the guest speaker. Honorees will include the 2016 Bobby Dodd Award winners, the Georgia High School Coach of the Year Awards, the Georgia High School Coaches 200-Win Club presentations and the 2015 TCA All-Metro Team. Click here for tickets, which include admission to hear new Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart address the Nike Coach’s Clinic.

The NFF Westchester (N.Y.) Chapter will hold its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Jan. 28 at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y.

The NFF Central New York Chapter is hosting its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Jan. 31 at Turning Stone Resort in Verona, N.Y.

The NFF Columbus (Ohio) Chapter will host its 55th Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet on Feb. 8 at the Ohio Union on the campus of Ohio State University. 1994 NFF National Scholar-Athlete and current ESPN broadcaster Joey Galloway (Ohio State) will receive the Ohio Gold Award, the highest honor given by the organization for contributions to amateur football. Fifteen high school scholar-athletes will be honored with John H. McConnell and Worthington Industries Foundation Scholarships, and one will claim the Maggied-Romanoff Award as the most outstanding scholar-athlete of the group.

St. Ambrose (Iowa) senior kicker Matt Cotiguala was named the recipient of the 2015 Fred Mitchell Award, and he will be honored on Feb. 15 at the NFF Chicago Metro Chapter Awards Ceremony at Halas Hall.

The NFF Mike Cleary/Northeastern Ohio Chapter will hold its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on March 8 at the LaCentre Banquet Facility in Westlake, Ohio. Recent Kent State graduate April Goss, who made history this past season after becoming just the second female to score a point in an FBS game, will speak on behalf of 12 Postgraduate Award winners. Other notable presenters and speakers at the banquet will include College Football Hall of Fame coach Jim Tressel, former Clemson and Cleveland Browns running back Kevin Mack and Youngstown State head coach Bo Pelini.

The NFF Wyoming Chapter will hold its annual banquet in Laramie on March 19. The chapter will present $1,200 scholarships to finalists from each of the state’s five participation classes and two from the University of Wyoming. The finalists will be selected from a field of 101 nominations from 35 high schools and the University of Wyoming. From the group of finalists, one top scholar-athlete will be awarded a second scholarship and be the state’s nominee to represent the West Region as an NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete.

The NFF New York City Chapter will hold its Elite Eleven Dinner Apr. 5 at the New York Athletic Club, honoring the top scholar-athletes in New York City and presenting Jets and former Central Florida wide receiver Brandon Marshall with its Accorsi Award for his work with PROJECT 375, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating the stigma surrounding mental illness and disorders.


New Football Schools

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, which will begin its inaugural football season this fall, unveiled a new set of logos…


The ACC announced its 2016 football schedule… Mississippi State’s 2016 non-conference game at BYU will kick off in primetime on Friday, Oct. 14 and be televised by either ESPN or ESPN2… Nebraska has finalized contracts to play two games against Oklahoma and two games with Arizona… Arizona also set a home-and-home series with Kansas State in 2024 and 2025… Rice will open the 2021 season at Oklahoma State… Louisiana Tech completed its 2016 non-conference schedule with the addition of South Carolina State… Montana finalized its 2016 schedule with the addition of Mississippi Valley State…

National Signing Day

The 11th annual ESPN National Signing Day coverage on Feb. 3 will feature exclusive programming across five television networks, on-site reporting at 15 college campuses, at least 20 streaming options on ESPN3 and WatchESPN, hourly updates to’s Recruiting Nation Class Rankings and 13 live on-air recruiting commitments…

Bowl Games

In the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina, the Allstate Sugar Bowl has produced an overall economic impact of $2,528,900,000 in New Orleans and Louisiana. For the organization’s full slate of events in 2015 alone, including the Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic on Jan. 1, 2016, the economic impact was $264.05 million…


The Pasadena Tournament of Roses elected Brad Ratliff as president for the 2016-17 Tournament year… Jennifer Cohen was named interim athletics director at Washington… Brent Thompson has been named The Citadel’s head football coach… Frank O’Brien will serve as interim director of athletics at Wisconsin-Stevens Point… Annie Reis was named interim director of athletics at Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.)… Wisconsin approved a five-year contract extension for head football coach Paul Chryst… Missouri has approved initial new employment terms for former football coach Gary Pinkel

Awards and Honors

The Maxwell Football Club announced that long time NFL executive Joe Browne has been selected as the winner of the 27th Francis “Reds” Bagnell Award, which recognizes outstanding lifetime contributions to football…


Arkansas will seek approval to move forward with the full design and cost estimate for a Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium renovation… Oregon unveiled a 1,000-pound, 8-foot bronze statue that pays tribute to its mascot, the duck… Oklahoma is in the midst of the first phase of its stadium renovation project… Abilene Christian announced it has surpassed its original fundraising goal of $30 million and that the Board of Trustees has given approval for construction to begin on the university's first on-campus football stadium in more than 50 years…


The Robert F. Wolfe and Edgar T. Wolfe Foundation pledged $5 million for a new endowment to support the Ohio State athletics director position… Michigan interim athletics director Jim Hackett donated half of his $600,000 first-year salary to Athletes Connected, a Michigan athletics initiative designed to support athletes with mental health problems… Rutgers announced “R Big Ten Build,” a targeted campaign to raise $100 million for new or expanded athletics facilities… A former Central Oklahoma football player has made an anonymous $1 million donation to the Complete the Dream athletics facilities campaign…


Wyoming football unveiled new uniforms for 2016…

Other News of Interest

After two and a half years of hard work, the Seattle-based helmet company VICIS released its brand new football helmet that they believe could be the safest in the world… Todd Davidson and Bob Donchez have captured the storied history of college football’s most played rivalry in two books: “Legends of Lehigh Lafayette, College Football’s Most Played Rivalry” and “Lehigh Lafayette, Celebrating 150 in NYC.” The books bring to life the historical accounts of this great rivalry while featuring numerous rare photographs, light-hearted cartoons and humorous anecdotes that describe the events on and off the field…


Former Bloomsburg (Pa.) All-America football player Brian Clarke passed away Jan. 15 after a nearly two-year battle with cancer. He was 26… Former Florida football player Joe Hergert passed away Jan. 16. He was 79… Former Tulane football player James Cain passed away Jan. 19. He was 82… Former Oklahoma State football standout Dick Graham passed away. He was 65… Theodore Spak, who helped establish Florida International’s football program, passed away Jan. 20. He was 83… Former Boise State President John Keiser, who is credited with setting the foundation for the school’s progression into Division 1 football, passed away Jan. 21. He was 79… Montana State wide receiver Manny Kalfell died Jan. 24. He was 22… Ted Brown, a graphics producer for ESPN, died Jan. 24. He was 36… Billy Fletcher, one of the greatest quarterbacks in Memphis history, passed away on Jan. 25. He was 72… Danny Akers, the son of former Texas head football coach Fred Akers and a former Longhorn quarterback himself, has died after a four-year fight with cancer. He was 54…


Each year, the National Football Foundation 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.

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 Click here for more information and to see the members of the 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association.

The NFF 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.


Sept. 28, 2016 – Announcement of the semifinalists for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and prominently displayed at the NYAC – Irving, Texas

Dec. 5, 2016
– Announcement and Presentation of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup to the Ivy League Football Players of the Year at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel at an event presented by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses – New  York City

Dec. 6, 2016
– NFF Annual Awards Press Conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 6, 2016
– NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 6, 2016
– 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria – New York City

Dec. 6, 2016
– 27th 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. 6, 2016
– Induction of the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 31, 2016
– The 12th Annual NFF National Hall of Fame Salute during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – Atlanta

Jan. 5, 2017
– NFF Leadership Hall of Fame Dinner – Tampa, Fla.

Jan. 6, 2017
– Announcement of the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Tampa, Fla.

Jan. 9, 2017
– College Football Playoff National Championship at Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, Fla.


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The NFF would like to thank NFF correspondent Bo Carter for his contributions to this report.

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