Dec. 7, 2010
The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame ceremony is scheduled for tonight at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. UCLA's Randy Cross is one of the Hall of Fame honorees.
The ceremony will be streamed live to the Web from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. EST. The event will be available at http://www.xosdigital.com/NFFAnnualBanquet.aspx.
The night will feature several well-known football luminaries. CBS's Harry Smith, who played defensive tackle for College Football Hall of Fame coach Ron Schipper at Central College (Iowa), will emcee the event. NFF Board Member and TV personality Jack Ford will present celebrated entertainer and humanitarian Bill Cosby with the Gold Medal while Tom Brokaw, the renowned journalist and author, will accept the NFF Distinguished American Award, presented by Generational Equity.
NFF Honors Court Chairman Eugene Corrigan will introduce the 2010 Hall of Fame players while NFF Board Member, AFCA Executive Director, and Hall of Fame Coach GrantTeaff will introduce the 2010 Hall of Fame coaches. Hall of Fame Coach Vince Dooley, who coached at Georgia from 1964-1988, will present the Hall of Fame plaques while Wisconsin inductee Barry Alvarez will deliver the response for the 2010 Hall of Fame class. NFF Board member, two-time Heisman winner and College Football Hall of Fame inductee Archie Griffin will conduct the Hall of Fame Ring Ceremony. NFF Board Member and noted philanthropist T. Boone Pickens will present the 2010 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards with assistance from NFF Board Member and NFL Executive Vice President Ray Anderson. Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder will respond for the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class.
The late Joe Kearney, a longtime athletics administrator, will posthumously be presented the NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award for his contributions to the game while former Rutgers Athletics Director Robert Mulcahy will take home the John L. Toner Award for his superior administrative abilities as an athletics administrator. Rogers Redding, the recipient of the Outstanding Football Official Award, and Joe Starkey, the recipient of the Chris Schenkel Award for excellence in broadcasting, round out the 2010 NFF Major Awards honorees. Former NCAA Executive Vice President Tom Jernstedt will be recognized with an NFF Legacy Award for his support of the NFF and its mission.
The true highlight of the evening, the induction of the 2010 College Football Hall of Fame Class, provides the ultimate stage for the legends of yesteryear to take their rightful place among the immortals of the game. And this year's class stands among the greatest of all-time, encompassing four unanimous First Team All-Americans; three consensus First Team All-Americans; three members of National Championship teams; one Heisman Trophy winner; one Maxwell Award winner; one Walter Camp Player of the Year; one Butkus Award winner; six Conference Players of the Year; nine members of conference championship teams; and six first-round NFL draft picks.
The 2010 class include the late Dennis Byrd (North Carolina State); Ronnie Caveness (Arkansas); Ray Childress (Texas A&M); Randy Cross (UCLA); Sam Cunningham (Southern California); Mark Herrmann (Purdue); Clarkston Hines (Duke); Desmond Howard (Michigan); Chet Moeller (Navy); Jerry Stovall (LSU); the late Pat Tillman (Arizona State); Alfred Williams (Colorado); and coaches Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin) and Gene Stallings (Texas A&M, Alabama).
Earlier today at a press conference for the inductees, Cross made the following comments: "I want to echo everybody else's thoughts about thanking the Foundation and everyone responsible for me being awarded this honor. As a former offensive lineman, you never really lose that title. I recognized early in my sporting life that this is all about a whole bunch of people. I recognize this honor is really about everybody I played with and around for those years at UCLA."
The 16 members of the 2010 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, who will each vie as a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, will collect $300,000 in post graduate scholarships. They boast a composite 3.65 grade point average, and 14 of the 16 finalists serve as their team captain. Other class accolades (based on 2009 accomplishments) include five All-Americans, 13 All-Conference picks, 15 Academic All-Conference honorees; and five members participating in overseas relief and mission trips. In 2010, 14 of the 16 made an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American District team with seven named to the first or second team, including Greg McElroy (Alabama) and Isaac Odim (Minnesota Duluth) who were both named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans of the Year for the university and college divisions respectively.
Members of the 2010 class of NFF National Scholar-Athletes include Sam Acho (Texas); Anthony Castonzo (Boston College); Ben Chappell (Indiana); Alex Gross (Columbia); Owen Marecic (Stanford); Greg McElroy (Alabama); Mike Mohamed (California); Travis Nissley (Bucknell); Isaac Odim (Minnesota Duluth); Christian Ponder (Florida State); Derek Sherrod (Mississippi State); Nate Solder (Colorado); Chris Stewart (Notre Dame); Scott Tolzien (Wisconsin); Ben Wartman (Saint Thomas, Minn.); and Stefen Wisniewski (Penn State). Each receives an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship with the Campbell Trophy honoree claiming a grand total of $25,000. HealthSouth Chairman Jon F. Hanson will have the honor of presenting the Campbell Trophy to the 21st recipient of the award at the event.
Director Tony Buemi, of Brandbridge Ltd, will produce the event for the fifth consecutive year, and ESPN anchor Rece Davis lent his talents for the voice overs for the Hall of Fame tributes while national TV personality Jack Ford, Dallas-Fort Worth sportscaster Scott Murray and Fox Sports personality Paul Kennedy joined forces to narrate the tributes for the major award and NFF National Scholar-Athlete videos. Daniel Rodriguez returns to sing the National Anthem and God Bless America.
During the past five decades, The NFF Annual Awards Dinner has produced its share of memorable moments, and the 2010 event promises to add to a rich lineage that continues to celebrate the greatest legends in college football. Watch it live at http://www.xosdigital.com/NFFAnnualBanquet.aspx.