Feb. 28, 2012
Four former Vols are on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame. Former coach Phillip Fulmer is joined by Willie Gault, Bobby Majors and Paul Naumoff for the opportunity to earn a place in college football lore.
Here are their thumbnail sketches from the ballot:
Phillip Fulmer - Tennessee (1992-2008) - Led Vols to 1998 BCS title and back-to-back SEC championships in 1997-98 ... Six top 10 finishes and 13 top 25 finishes nationally ... Second-most wins (152) in UT history behind Gen. Robert Neyland (173) ... 137 wins in first 15 seasons ties for fourth-best in major college history ... Seven SEC Eastern Division titles and 15 bowl berths.
Willie Gault, Tennessee - Wide Receiver - 1982 First Team All-America ... Led Vols to three bowl berths ... Set six conference and 12 school punt / kickoff return records ... Tied NCAA record for most touchdowns by kick return in a single season (3) in 1980.
Bobby Majors, Tennessee - Defensive Back - 1971 unanimous First Team All-America ... Led Vols to wins in 1971 Sugar Bowl and 1972 Liberty Bowl ... Holds school records for punt returns in a career (117 for 1163 yards, 4 TDs) and season (42 for 457 yards, 2 TDs).
Paul Naumoff, Tennessee - Linebacker - Named First Team All-America and All-Conference in 1966 ... Named team MVP in 1966 ... Played in the College All-Star Game and Senior Bowl in 1967.
Here is the full release from the NFF.
DALLAS, Feb. 28, 2012 - The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced today the names of 76 players and eight coaches who comprise the 2012 Football Bowl Subdivision Ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
"Having a ballot and a voice in the selection of the inductees is one of the most cherished NFF member benefits," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee from Ole Miss. "There is no group more knowledgeable or passionate about college football than our membership, and the tradition of the ballot helps us engage them in the lofty responsibility of selecting those who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in our sport."
The ballot was mailed this week to the more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF's Honors Court, which deliberates and selects the class. Chaired by Gene Corrigan, a former ACC Commissioner and NCAA president, the 14-member NFF Honors Court includes an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletics directors, conference commissioners, Hall of Famers and members of the media.
"It's an enormous honor to just be on the ballot when you think that more than 4.86 million people have played college football," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "The Hall's requirement of being a First Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of only 1,900 individuals who are even eligible to be on the ballot, so being in today's group of 76 names means an individual is truly among the greatest to ever have played the game, and we are proud to announce their names today."
The FBS Hall of Fame Class will be announced live in New York City during a noon press conference on May 15 and inducted at the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 4, 2012 at the landmark Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York City.
To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been named a First Team All-America by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for their consensus All-America teams; played their last year of intercollegiate football at least ten years prior; played within the last 50 years and cannot be currently playing professional football. Coaches must have coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach; won at least 60% of their games; and be retired from coaching for at least three years. If a coach is retired and over the age of 70, there is no waiting period. If he is over the age of 75, he is eligible as an active coach. In both cases, the candidate's post-football record as a citizen may also be weighed.
Once nominated for consideration, all player candidates are submitted to one of eight District Screening Committees, depending on their school's geographic location, which conducts a vote to determine who will appear on the ballot and represent their respective districts. Each year, approximately 15 candidates, who are not selected for the Hall of Fame, will be named automatic holdovers and will bypass the district screening process and automatically appear on the ballot the following year. Additionally, the Veterans Committee may make recommendations to Honors Court for exceptions that allow for the induction of players who played more than 50 years ago.
Of the 4.86 million individuals who have played college football since Princeton first battled Rutgers on November 6, 1869, only 900 players have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, or less than .0002 percent of those who have played the game during the past 143 years. From the coaching ranks, 194 individuals have achieved Hall of Fame distinction.
Click here for an electronic version of the ballot issue in a pdf format that also contains the 93 players and 29 coaches for the divisional ranks who are up for Hall of Fame consideration this year. The divisional class will be announced May 22 via a press release from Dallas, Texas.
The 2012 Divisional College Football Hall of Fame Class will be inducted and enshrined simultaneously July 20-21 in South Bend, Ind., joining the 2011 Football Bowl Subdivision Hall of Fame Class, which was inducted this past December, at their enshrinement.