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Official National Football Foundation Press Release


Note that Gene Stallings was a Veterans Committee selection. That means two of the four coaches enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010 came from the Veterans Committee. They declined Erk Russell's candidacy because . . . ? Go 'Dawgs!

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College Football Hall of Fame Divisional Class Announced, Erk Russell Not Included


This morning, the 2010 divisional class of inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame was announced. Four players and two coaches made the cut, including one coach chosen by the Veterans Committee, but Erskine Russell was not among the honorees. The two coaches selected were Willie Jeffries, who compiled a 179-132-6 record as the head coach at Howard (1984-88), Wichita State (1979-83), and South Carolina State (1973-78, 1989-2001), and Ted Kessinger, who went 219-57-1 at Bethany (Kan.) between 1976 and 2003. Coach Jeffries was chosen by the Veterans Committee. This year's class brings to 124 the total number of players and coaches from outside the Division I-A ranks to be enshrined in the Hall. That number should be 125. While I do not question the qualifications of Coaches Jeffries and Kessinger, the omission of Coach Russell was a travesty. The Veterans Committee, the composition of which is kept secret to prevent its members from being bombarded with letter-writing campaigns by boosters of would-be inductees into the Hall, played an active role in choosing this year's class, as one of the two coaches being enshrined was a Veterans Committee selection. Why, then, was Erk's candidacy found wanting? I do not believe a sufficient justification for his omission may be offered; the only explanation (and the reason he had to go before the Veterans Committee rather than appear on the ballot) is that the well-intended but ill-considered ten-year minimum for head coaches barred Coach Russell's entry. This is a setback, but it is only a setback. If the rule keeps the deserving out, the rule needs to be changed, if only to create an exception for special cases such as this. I would have preferred to have gone about this the easy way, but, as Coach Russell spent his life and career teaching, few things that are worthwhile ever came easy. It is time to regroup and evaluate how best to go about changing the rule from within the system, so that Coach Russell may be considered on his merits rather than excluded on a technicality. Stay tuned. . . . GATA!

2010 College Football Hall of Fame Class to be Announced May 27


I'm not particularly interested in the corporate sponsors of the event, but the salient datum announced by the National Football Foundation today was that this year's College Football Hall of Fame Division I-A induction class will be announced at noon on Thursday, May 27. If Erk Russell is selected by the Veterans Committee, it will be for the divisional class, so it does not appear that we will know for sure whether Coach Russell has been inducted on May 27. However, we will learn the fate of three damn good 'Dawgs (all of whom appeared on my ballot), with the word on Coach Russell's candidacy hopefully to follow. Stay tuned. . . . GATA!

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