National Football Foundation

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NFF CHALKTALK – Feb. 2, 2016, Presented by
Latest news & notes from the world of college football.
Published: 2/2/2016 2:50:00 PM

(Pictured: During the month of February, the NFF will profile several Black History trailblazers on The stories of those who helped integrate college football encapsulate a similar sentiment expressed by former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice during her recent acceptance speech of the NFF Gold Medal at the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on Dec. 8, 2015.)

NFF to Salute Black History Trailblazers on

As part of a Black History Month tribute, the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame created a list, which highlights “just” a few of the many significant individuals who helped integrate football since the first college game between Rutgers and Princeton on Nov. 6, 1869. During the month of February, the NFF will profile several of these trailblazers on, the NFF’s digital platform for storytelling and promoting the good in the game.

The stories of those who helped integrate college football encapsulate a similar sentiment expressed by former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice during her recent acceptance speech of the NFF Gold Medal, the organization’s highest honor, at the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on Dec. 8, 2015. The first female African-American U.S. Secretary of State, Rice, grew up the daughter of a high school football coach in segregated Birmingham, Ala., and in her acceptance speech, she spoke eloquently about the significance of football in her life and more importantly about the role of the game in integrating America. Click here for more on the NFF’s tribute to Black History Month.

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:

·         Kohlhausen’s Only Start for TCU Was One for the Record Books

·         Former Army Offensive Tackle Now Mentors Those Interested in Attending West Point

·         Will Healy, 30, Excited to Land First Head Coaching Job at Austin Peay

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 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 100 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 Hall has introduced two new exhibits for fans to enjoy in 2016. In the Kia Building a Champion Gallery, guests will discover the "Test Your Skills Kia Performance Center" that offers a one-of-a-kind football combine experience. Participants will find out if they have what it takes with a vertical leap, 40-yard dash and an agility reaction drill, and the results are provided on a customized player draft card as a takeaway for fans. The Specialty Exhibit delivered by UPS is a new temporary display celebrating the 2015 Hall of Fame Class, featuring memorabilia, jerseys and other artifacts from the inductees’ careers.


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


NFF Board Members and College Football Hall of Famers Ronnie Lott (Southern California) and Lynn Swann (Southern California) and Hall of Famers Joe Greene (North Texas), Ray Guy (Southern Miss), Charles Haley (James Madison), Jack Ham (Penn State), Desmond Howard (Michigan), Jay Novacek (Wyoming), Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley State), Deion Sanders (Florida State), Jake Scott (Georgia), Art Shell (Maryland Eastern Shore), Emmitt Smith (Florida), Randy White (Maryland) and Reggie White (Tennessee) were named to the Super Bowl 50 Golden Team, celebrating the best overall career performances in the Super Bowl.

profiled NFF Board Member Kevin Plank’s journey from college fullback to Under Armour CEO.

1997 William V. Campbell Trophy recipient Peyton Manning (Tennessee) will compete in Super Bowl 50 as a member of the Denver Broncos.

College Football Hall of Famer Ricky Williams (Texas) is set to compete for charity as a contestant on the new season of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

College Football Hall of Famer Eddie George (Ohio State) is performing in a seven-week stint in the musical Chicago on Broadway until Feb. 28.

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.

1990 William V. Campbell Trophy winner Chris Howard (Air Force) officially took office Feb. 1 as the eighth president of Robert Morris University.

2013 Campbell Trophy John Urschel (Penn State), now a member of the Baltimore Ravens, will spend his offseason beginning the Applied Mathematics PhD program at MIT.

Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey was named the 2015 recipient of the Johnny Rodgers National College Football Return Specialist Award, named in honor of the College Football Hall of Famer from Nebraska.

2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Taveze Calhoun (Mississippi State) was named to the 2015 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll.

2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Spencer Drango (Baylor) helped the South defeat the North, 27-16, in the 2016 Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan. 30 in Mobile, Ala.

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 Isaac Ales, a defensive lineman at Northern Iowa who maintains a 3.44 GPA in physical education.

Presented by

The NFF Central New York Chapter held its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Jan. 31 in front of a crowd of 600 people at Turning Stone Resort in Verona, N.Y. Nine collegiate and 74 high school scholar-athletes received $500 grants for a total of $40,750. Ithaca (N.Y.) head football coach Mike Welch received the chapter’s Contribution to Amateur Football Award.

The NFF St. Louis-Tom Lombardo Chapter will host its first National Signing Day Breakfast on Feb. 3 at Norwood Country Club in St. Louis. An estimated 50 student-athletes representing 16 schools will take part.

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

Bleacher Report profiled how coach Bill Clark is resurrecting the program at UAB…

Pasadena Tournament of Roses

Pasadena Tournament of Roses President Brad Ratliff announced “Echoes of Success” as the theme for the 128th Rose Parade, celebrating those people, organizations and institutions that play a part in the stories of the success of others…


East Tennessee State will play Western Carolina at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 17… Kansas State added South Dakota to its 2018 schedule… Mercer will play at Alabama in 2017 and 2021…

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…

Conference Alignment

The Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) announced the addition of Alfred State (N.Y.) and Dean (Mass.) as members beginning with the 2017 season. Alfred State is a provisional member of Division III, transitioning from the junior college ranks and following the path set forth by the NCAA for full membership status. Dean will begin its exploratory year in the same process during the 2016-17 academic year…


The NCAA Board of Governors has unanimously voted to extend NCAA President Mark Emmert’s contract for an additional three years… Judge Michael B. Chavies was installed as the Orange Bowl Committee's 78th President and Chair… Warde Manuel has been named director of athletics at Michigan… Rachel Rubin will serve as Connecticut’s interim athletics director… Southern Miss has hired Jay Hopson as its new head football coach… Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has agreed to terms on a new six-year agreement that runs through the 2021 season… Utah and head coach Kyle Whittingham have agreed to a two-year extension… Southern Virginia named Joe DuPaix as head football coach…


ESPN and the Missouri Valley Football Conference announced a multi-year agreement that will provide increased coverage of conference games on ESPN3 through the 2023 season...


Donations to capital campaigns for new facilities and commitments to cover more aid for athletes helped major-college athletics departments raise more than $1 billion in 2015…

Community Service

UCLA football signed a 9-year-old fan fighting a brain tumor to its class of 2016…


Former Duke guard Bob Burrows passed away Jan. 22. He was 83… Rob Monaco, a four-year starting offensive lineman at Vanderbilt, passed away Jan. 25. He was 54… Former Indiana lineman Ted Karras Sr. passed away Jan. 26. He was 81… Longtime Kansas Wesleyan football coach and athletics director Gene Bissell passed away Jan. 28. He was 89… Former New Mexico State offensive and defensive lineman Allan Sepkowitz passed away Jan. 28… Former Mississippi and Murray State quarterback Maikhail Miller died Jan. 30. He was 23… Northwest Missouri State junior football player Nicholas Turner died Jan. 31…


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.

NFF Chalktalk items are welcome, and should be submitted to

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