The College Football Hall of Fame
is a hall of fame
A hall of fame, wall of fame, walk of fame, walk of stars or avenue of stars is a type of attraction established for any field of endeavor to honor individuals of noteworthy achievement in that field...
and museum devoted to college football
College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities...
. Located in South Bend, Indiana
The city of South Bend is the county seat of St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States, on the St. Joseph River near its southernmost bend, from which it derives its name. As of the 2010 Census, the city had a total of 101,168 residents; its Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 316,663...
, it is connected to a convention center and situated in the city's renovated downtown district, two miles south of the University of Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame du Lac is a Catholic research university located in Notre Dame, an unincorporated community north of the city of South Bend, in St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States...
campus. It is slated to move to Atlanta in September 2013. The National Football Foundation
The National Football Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1947 by General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army Black Knights football coach Earl "Red" Blaik and journalist Grantland Rice...
(NFF) established the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951, and oversees its support, administration and operation.
Original plans called for the Hall of Fame to be located at Rutgers University
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey , is the largest institution for higher education in New Jersey, United States. It was originally chartered as Queen's College in 1766. It is the eighth-oldest college in the United States and one of the nine Colonial colleges founded before the American...
in New Brunswick, New Jersey
New Brunswick is a city in Middlesex County, New Jersey, USA. It is the county seat and the home of Rutgers University. The city is located on the Northeast Corridor rail line, southwest of Manhattan, on the southern bank of the Raritan River. At the 2010 United States Census, the population of...
, the location of the first contest under rules now considered to be those of modern football
The 1869 New Jersey vs. Rutgers football game was a college football game between the and the played on November 6, 1869...
, between teams from Rutgers and the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....
; Rutgers won 6–4. Rutgers donated land near its football stadium, office space, and administrative support. After years of collecting donations for the construction of the building with ground not having been broken and no plans to do so, the New Jersey Attorney General
The Attorney General of New Jersey is a member of the executive cabinet of the state. The office is appointed by the Governor of New Jersey and term limited...
began an investigation of the finances of the Hall of Fame's foundation, the National Football Foundation. In response, the Foundation moved its operations to New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...
, where it continued to collect donations for several years. When the New York Attorney General's office began its own investigation the foundation moved to Ohio, where a building finally was constructed.
Despite estimates that the South Bend location would attract more than 150,000 visitors a year, the Hall of Fame drew about 115,000 people the first year (1995) and about 80,000 annually after that. As a result, in September 2009, the Hall of Fame announced it would be moving to Atlanta. The possibility of moving the museum has been brought up in other cities, including Dallas, which had the financial backing of billionaire T. Boone Pickens. Set to open in the fall of 2013, the new $50 million museum will be located next to Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park is a 21 acre public park located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, USA that is owned and operated by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. The park was built by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as part of the infrastructure improvements for the Centennial...
, which is near other attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium, located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, at Pemberton Place, is the world's largest aquarium with more than of marine and fresh water housing more than 120,000 animals of 500 different species...
, the World of Coca-Cola
The World of Coca-Cola is a permanent exhibition featuring the history of The Coca-Cola Company and its well-known advertising as well as a host of entertainment areas and attractions...
, CNN Center
The CNN Center is the world headquarters of the Cable News Network . The main newsrooms and studios for several of CNN's news channels are located in the building...
and the anticipated Center for Human and Civil Rights. Plans for a health museum also have been announced.
The College Football Hall of Fame's current building was constructed in 1995. Sam Jones of The Troyer Group was the lead architect and a graduate of Notre Dame. The museum, located under the Gridiron Plaza, features memorials and memorabilia of great American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...
players and coaches of the past. A 12-minute video in the museum's Stadium Theater highlights the "thrills and pageantry" of college football. Interactive areas allow visitors to test their own speed, agility
Agility or nimbleness is the ability to change the body's position efficiently, and requires the integration of isolated movement skills using a combination of balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, strength, endurance and stamina....
, and punt
In some codes of football, a punt is a play in which a player drops the ball and kicks it before it touches the ground. A punt is in contrast to a drop kick, in which the ball touches the ground before being kicked....
In several forms of football a forward pass is when the ball is thrown in the direction that the offensive team is trying to move, towards the defensive team's goal line...
ing and block
In American football, blocking is a legal move occurring when one player obstructs another player's path with his body. The purpose of blocking is to prevent defensive players tackling the ball carrier, or to protect the quarterback while attempting to pass or hand-off the ball...
ing skills. Video monitors replay historical games and plays. Busts of coaches and players enshrined in the Hall of Fame are located throughout the museum. The entrance-level floor features a gift shop and restaurant, as well as murals featuring hall-of-famers and significant moments in the history of college football. The exterior of the building features a 19000 square feet (1,765.2 m²) artificial turf space, named the Gridiron Plaza, that can be rented to host outdoor events.
Prior to moving to its current location, the College Football Hall of Fame was located adjacent to Kings Island
Kings Island is a amusement park located northeast of Cincinnati in Mason, Ohio. Opened in 1972 by Taft Broadcasting Company and now owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, Kings Island is the most visited seasonal amusement park in the U.S...
in Kings Mills, Ohio
Kings Mills is an unincorporated community in the northeastern corner of Deerfield Township, Warren County, Ohio, United States, on the western shore of the Little Miami River...
, near Cincinnati.
As of 2008, there are 829 players enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame, representing 186 institutions. Additionally, 178 coaches have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The following institutions have had the greatest number of players inducted:
| Institution || # || Last inductee
| Notre Dame
Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team is the football team of the University of Notre Dame. The team is currently coached by Brian Kelly.Notre Dame competes as an Independent at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level, and is a founding member of the Bowl Championship Series coalition. It is an...
The Michigan Wolverines football program represents the University of Michigan in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision level. Michigan has the most all-time wins and the highest winning percentage in college football history...
| Southern California
| Ohio State
The Ohio State Buckeyes football team is an intercollegiate varsity sports team of The Ohio State University. The team is a member of the Big Ten Conference of the NCAA, playing at the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly Division I-A, level. The team nickname is derived from the state...
The Army Black Knights football program represents the United States Military Academy. Army was recognized as the national champions in 1944, 1945 and 1946....
| Penn State
The Penn State Nittany Lions football team represents the Pennsylvania State University in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Football Bowl Subdivision as a member of the Big Ten Conference. It is one of the most tradition-rich and storied college football programs in the...
Pittsburgh Panthers football is the intercollegiate football team of the University of Pittsburgh, often referred to as "Pitt", located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Traditionally the most popular sport at the university, Pitt football has played at the highest level of American college football...
The Oklahoma Sooners football program is a college football team that represents the University of Oklahoma . The team is currently a member of the Big 12 Conference, which is a Division I Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association...
The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers are one of the oldest programs in college football history. They compete in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and the Big Ten Conference. The Golden Gophers have claimed six national championships and have an all time record of 646–481–44 as...
The Princeton Tigers football program represents Princeton University college football at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision...
The Yale Bulldogs football program represents Yale University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision . Yale's football program is one of the oldest in the world, having begun competing in the sport in 1872...
The Tennessee Volunteers football team are an American college football team at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville . The NCAA Division I team is also a member of the Southeastern Conference ....
The Navy Midshipmen football team represents the United States Naval Academy in NCAA Division I-A college football. They are a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision independent school and coached by Ken Niumatalolo since December 2007...
|TeamName = Alabama football |Image = Alabama Crimson Tide Logo.svg |ImageSize = 110 |Helmet = Alabama Football.png |ImageSize2 = 150 |CurrentSeason = 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide football team...
The Penn Quakers football team is the college football team at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. The Penn Quakers have competed in the Ivy League since its inaugural season of 1956, and are currently a Division I Football Championship Subdivision member of the National...
The Texas Longhorns football program is the intercollegiate football team representing The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas. The team currently competes in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision as a member of the Big 12 Conference which is a Division I Bowl Subdivision of the National...
The Harvard Crimson football program represents Harvard University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision . Harvard's football program is one of the oldest in the world, having begun competing in the sport in 1873...
The Stanford Cardinal football program represents Stanford University in college football at the NCAA Division I FBS level and is a member of the Pac-12 Conference's North Division. Stanford, the top-ranked academic institution with an FBS program, has a highly successful football tradition. The...
The California Golden Bears football team is the college football team of the University of California. The team plays its home games at California Memorial Stadium, however the team played at San Francisco's AT&T Park in 2011 while Memorial Stadium was being renovated, the team will return to...
The Nebraska Cornhuskers represent the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in college football. The program has established itself as a traditional powerhouse, and has the fourth-most all-time victories of any NCAA Division I-A team. Nebraska is one of only six football programs in NCAA Division I-A...
Criteria for induction
The National Football Foundation outlines specific criteria that may be used for evaluating a possible candidate for induction into the Hall of Fame. NFF members and the coaches, athletic directors, and sports information officials representing member schools may submit nominations for consideration. Nominees with the highest votes received from one of the eight District Screening Committees (DSC) located closest to the nominee's college or university are included on that year's ballot, which is distributed to all NFF dues-paying members. The selection of Hall of Fame inductees, however, ultimately is determined by the Foundation's Honor Court.
Criteria for player nominees
- FIRST AND FOREMOST, A PLAYER MUST HAVE RECEIVED MAJOR FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICA RECOGNITION.
- A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation's Honors Court 10 years after his last year of intercollegiate football played.
- While each nominee's football achievements 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.
- In accordance with the 50-year rule,† players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years. For example, to be eligible for the 2005 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1955 or thereafter.
- The nominee must have ended his professional athletic career prior to the time of the nomination.
†Those players that do not comply with the 50-year rule and coaches who have not won 60% of their games may still be eligible for consideration by the Division I-A and Divisional Honors Review Committees, which examine unique cases.
Criteria for coach nominees
- While each nominee's football achievements 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.
- A coach becomes eligible three years after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age.
- The nominee must have held a head coaching position at the collegiate level for at least ten years.
- The nominee must hold at least a .600 career record over the course of 100 games or more.