Eight representatives from Big 12 institutions are on the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot, announced by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
Former players from Big 12 schools include Michael Bishop, QB (K-State), Rickey Dixon, DB (Oklahoma), Leslie O’Neal, DT (Oklahoma State), Kenneth Davis, RB (TCU), Bob McKay, OT (Texas) and Byron Hanspard, RB (Texas Tech). Former coaches are Jim Carlen (West Virginia and Texas Tech) and Pete Cawthon Sr. (Texas Tech).
The announcement of the 2017 Class will be made Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The city is serving as the host for the CFP National Championship, which will be played Jan. 9 at Raymond James Stadium. The Jan. 6 announcement will be televised live, and specific viewing information will be available as the date draws near. Inductees will also participate in the pregame festivities and the coin toss on Jan. 9.
The 2017 class will be inducted at the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 5, 2017, at the landmark Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The inductees will be permanently enshrined at the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta later that December and honored on the field during the 13th Annual National Hall of Fame Salute during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
The criteria for Hall of Fame consideration includes: First and foremost, a player must have received First-Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams. A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s Honors Courts 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man, with love of his country. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.
Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years. For example, to be eligible for the 2017 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1967 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.
A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage. Players who do not comply with the 50-year rule may still be eligible for consideration by the Football Bowl Subdivision and Divisional Veterans Committee.
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 the Honors Court for exceptions that allow for the induction of players who played more than 50 years ago.
Of the 5.12 million individuals who have played college football since Princeton first battled Rutgers on Nov. 6, 1869, only 977 players, including the 2016 class, have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, or less than two ten-thousandths (.0002) of one percent of those who have played the game during the past 147 years.
From the coaching ranks, 211 individuals have achieved Hall of Fame distinction.