The National Football Foundation (NFF) has announced the names of 77 players and seven coaches who comprise the 2010 Football Bowl Subdivision Ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
UCLA alums (in alphabetical order) Randy Cross, Ken Norton Jr. and Jonathan Ogden are included on the list of players.
"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 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 13-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 4.72 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 77 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 May 27 from the NASDAQ Times Square site in New York City during a noon press conference and inducted at The National Football Foundation's Annual Awards Dinner on December 7, 2010 at the landmark Waldorf-Astoria Hotel also in New York City. The May 27 press conference has been carried live on ESPNEWS for the past three years, and the same coverage is anticipated again this year.
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 (formerly known as the Honors Review Committee) may make recommendations to Honors Court for exceptions that allow for the induction of players who played more than 50 years ago and coaches who have not won at least 60 percent of their games.
Of the 4.72 million individuals who have played college football, only 866 players have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. From the coaching ranks, 186 individuals have achieved Hall of Fame distinction.
Here are brief bios on UCLA's three alumni:
Randy Cross, UCLA-Offensive Guard-Named First Team All-America in 1975. Helped lead UCLA to a victory over top-ranked Ohio State in the 1976 Rose Bowl. First Team All-Conference selection in 1975. Starter in 28 of 34 career games including his final 23.
Ken Norton, Jr., UCLA-Linebacker-1987 First Team All-America, leading Bruins to four consecutive bowl wins. Member of the 1985 conference championship team. Led team in tackles in 1986 (106) and in 1987 (125) and ranks sixth in school history with 339 career tackles.
Jonathan Ogden, UCLA-Offensive Tackle- Named unanimous First Team All-America and Outland Trophy winner in 1995. Led team to 1993 Pac-10 title. Won 1995 Morris Trophy as conference's best offensive lineman, allowing only one quarterback sack that season.