National Football Foundation

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NFF National Scholar-Athletes to Take Center Stage at 2017 Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum
The NFF and the SportsBusiness Journal partner for a fifth year to promote one of the nation’s premier intercollegiate athletics meetings.
Published: 8/24/2017 11:00:00 AM
(Pictured: Several members of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments, will once again take part in a panel at the Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum this December in New York City. Pictured above at last year's panel are 2016 NFF National Scholar-Athletes Brooks Ellis (Arkansas) and DeVon Edwards (Duke) with panel moderator, NFF Vice Chairman and TV news personality Jack Ford. / Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown.)

IRVING, Texas (Aug. 24, 2017)
– The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that several members of its NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments, will take center stage during the 16th Annual Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, which will occur Dec. 6-7 in New York City at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan.

The participation of the NFF National Scholar-Athletes, who will each claim an $18,000 scholarship Dec. 5 at the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, is part of a partnership that began in 2013 between the SportsBusiness Daily/Global/Journal of the Street & Smith’s Sports Group to promote the Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum.

“We are excited to again partner with the National Football Foundation in staging the Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum,” said Sports Business Journal Publisher Richard Weiss. “The NFF has remained a powerful force for seven decades in highlighting the life-long opportunities that college athletics create for the tens of thousands of student-athletes who participate each year, and they are an important voice in the collegiate landscape, making them a great partner for this event.”

The Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum draws more than 300 of the top people from the world of collegiate sports, including NCAA leadership, university presidents, conference commissioners, athletics directors, media partners and corporate sponsors. The Forum has become the premier event for intercollegiate athletics stakeholders to openly examine and candidly debate the numerous and complex issues surrounding college sports.

The 2017 Forum marks the fourth year that members of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, who also vie as finalists for the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy®, presented by Fidelity Investments, will participate at the event. In 2016, NFF National Scholar-Athletes DeVon Edwards (Duke) and Brooks Ellis (Arkansas) participated on a panel called: “The Student-Athlete Perspective,” giving their insights on the current issues facing student-athletes.

“We are pleased to partner again with the SportsBusiness Journal to promote the Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “It has been a tradition for many years for the leaders in college athletics to travel to New York City to celebrate college football at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner. It is a natural connection for us, as the Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum attracts many of the same individuals to discuss the most important issues of the day. We are also very excited to continue expanding upon the successful panel with the NFF National Scholar-Athletes who represent the very best in the game and a level of accomplishment that we hope all student-athletes will aspire.”

The 2017 Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, now in its 16th year, will be held from Dec. 6-7 at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan during “College Football Week” in New York City. The 2017 Forum will follow the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown on Tuesday, Dec. 5. The 2017 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class will be announced Nov. 1, and the winner of the Campbell Trophy® will be announced live at the event on Dec. 5. Candidates for the awards will be announced Sept. 27.

Additional program details and registration information for the 2017 Forum can be found online at

Some of the speakers over the program’s 15-year history have included:
  • Ray Anderson, Vice President for University of Athletics, Arizona State University (NFF Board Member)
  • Mike Aresco, Commissioner, American Athletic Conference
  • Sandy Barbour, Athletics Director, Penn State University
  • Bob Bowlsby, Commissioner, Big 12 Conference (NFF Board  Member)
  • Greg Byrne, Athletics Director, University of Alabama
  • Joe Castiglione, Vice President, Intercollegiate Athletics Programs & Athletics Director, University of Oklahoma (NFF Board Member and 2013 NFF John L. Toner Award recipient)
  • John Currie, Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics, University of Tennessee
  • Gene DeFilippo, Former Athletics Director, Boston College, and Director, College Sports, Turnkey Search (NFF Board Member)
  • Jim Delany, Commissioner, Big Ten Conference (NFF Board Member)
  • Mark Emmert, President, NCAA
  • Jack Ford, Former Yale Defensive Back and Legal Analyst and Correspondent, "60 Minutes Sports," CBS News (NFF Board Member)
  • Dan Guerrero, Athletics Director, UCLA (2017 NFF John L. Toner Award recipient)
  • Bill Hancock, Executive Director, College Football Playoff
  • Robin Harris, Executive Director, Ivy League
  • Mark Hollis, Athletics Director, Michigan State University (2015 NFF John L. Toner Award recipient)
  • Tom Holmoe, Athletics Director, Brigham Young University
  • Eric LeGrand, Former Defensive Tackle, Rutgers University
  • Oliver Luck, NCAA Executive Vice President for Regulatory Affairs (1981 NFF National Scholar-Athlete)
  • Shane Lyons, Athletics Director, West Virginia University
  • Archie Manning, Chairman, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, and College Football Hall of Fame inductee from the University of Mississippi
  • Warde Manuel, Athletics Director, University of Michigan
  • Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports
  • Tom McMillen, President & CEO, LEAD1
  • Don McPherson, College Football Hall of Famer (Syracuse), Broadcaster and Community Activist
  • Tom Osborne,  Former Head Football Coach and Athletics Director, University of Nebraska, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, 1995 NFF Distinguished American Award recipient
  • Kevin Plank, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Under Armour (NFF Board Member)
  • Mark Richt, Head Football Coach, University of Miami (Fla.)
  • Greg Sankey, Commissioner, Southeastern Conference (NFF Board Member)
  • Larry Scott, Commissioner, Pac-12 Conference (NFF Board Member)
  • John Skipper, President, ESPN
  • Gene Smith, Athletics Director, Ohio State University (2008 NFF John L. Toner Award recipient)
  • Jack Swarbrick, Athletics Director, University of Notre Dame
  • John Swofford, Commissioner, Atlantic Coast Conference (NFF Board Member)
  • Craig Thompson, Commissioner, Mountain West Conference
  • Kevin White, Athletics Director, Duke University (2014 NFF John L. Toner Award recipient)
  • Debbie Yow, Athletics Director, N.C. State University (NFF Board Member)

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy® presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at

About Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily/Global/Journal
With 80 reporters, editors and guest columnists, SportsBusiness Journal is the category-leading weekly magazine covering sports business. SportsBusiness Daily summarizes industry news reported by more than 600 media outlets. SportsBusiness Global covers sports business news stories throughout the world by following more than 200 local language publications and media outlets. Resource Guide LIVE is a digital sports industry marketplace directory with listings on more than 75,000 people and 11,000 companies. The Sports Business Conference and Events Group annually presents 11 leading sports industry conferences and events. Please visit all of our websites –,,, and The Sports Business Group is a division of American City Business Journals (ACBJ), which comprises weekly business journals, and Hemmings Motor News. ACBJ is part of Advance Publications.

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