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Don Hansen's Football Gazette Blog of information, comments, notes, and tidebits on Small College Football. NCAA 1-AA & Mid Major, Division II & Mid Major, Division III, NAIA, and NCCAA

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

News and Notes From Around College Football for August 21, 2006


The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, Inc.

Monday’s Chalktalk

http://www.footballfoundation.com/news.php?id=932

Miami of Ohio and Northwestern Honor Walker’s Memory

Miami University will pay tribute to the memory of Randy Walker prior to the kickoff of their Aug. 31 game against Northwestern. Walker, who coached at both schools, passed away suddenly on June 29 of a heart attack at the age of 52.

Widely-respected as one of the most energetic and intelligent coaches in the elite college ranks, Walker’s loss continues to be felt throughout the greater football community, and prior to the 7:30 p.m. game, a ceremony will take place at Miami’s Cradle of Coaches Plaza. During the game, players from both teams will wear a decal with the number “41” in red, the number that Walker wore as a standout tailback for the Miami teams that went 32-1-1 from 1973-75. The decal will also bear his Northwestern nickname, “Walk,” in purple. At halftime, a video presentation will be shown, highlighting his life as a coach and a player.

Featured speakers at the ceremony will be former Miami head coaches Bill Mallory, who coached Walker for two seasons before directing programs at Colorado and Indiana, and Dick Crum, who also coached Walker for two seasons before hiring him as an assistant at both Miami and North Carolina. During the ceremony, the school will dedicate a plaque in Walker’s memory. Walker’s plaque will be the first to adorn the plaza, which was constructed to honor the many legendary coaches who have passed through Miami, including Hall of Fame coaches Sid Gillman, Woody Hayes, George Little, Ara Parseghian, and Bo Schembechler.

Campbell Larger Than Life Forever

Prior to its key Sept. 9 match-up against Ohio State, Texas will unveil a nine-foot bronze statue of Earl Campbell, its first Heisman Trophy winner and a 1990 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame. The 1,500-pound likeness of “The Tyler Rose” will be placed near the southwest entrance of Royal-Memorial Stadium, and a special halftime tribute to the All-America running back will take place during the game. Campbell, who rushed for 4,443 yards, the fifth highest total at the time of his retirement, followed his collegiate career as one of the NFL’s most dominating players, having stints with the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints en route to his 1991 the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction. Campbell’s son Tyler, currently a sophomore for Chuck Long’s Aztecs at San Diego State, has earned a reputation as one of the team’s toughest players.

Two-Minute Drill

The Oklahoma Sooners plan to honor the late Prentice Gautt and his historic first year in Norman by “sitting out” his jersey number, as 2006 marks the 50th anniversary of Gautt breaking the color barrier at Oklahoma. His family and the 1956 national championship team will be honored at the Oct. 21 game versus Colorado, and players will have a number “38” decal affixed to their helmets. Gautt’s wife, Sandra, accepted the NFF’s Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football on his behalf last December in New York City. Gautt passed away in March 2005 at the age of 67.

The Associated Press released its 2006 preseason Top 25 poll on Friday, Aug. 18. Ohio State garnered the top spot followed by Notre Dame and the 2005 National Champion Texas Longhorns. Auburn and West Virginia rounded out the top five. As motivation for the upcoming season, Arkansas Head Coach Houston Nutt arranged a meeting between this year’s team and seniors from the 1979 team that went 10-2 and tied for the Southwest Conference Championship under Coach Lou Holtz. Penn State will honor its 1986 national championship squad during ceremonies at the Nittany Lions’ home opener versus Akron on Sept. 2. The 1966 team, Joe Paterno’s first as head coach, will be honored during the Sept. 16 contest with Youngstown State. Louisville received a commitment from quarterback Matt Simms, son of former Super Bowl MVP Phil Simms. Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan invited Huskers fan and comedian Dan Whitney, better known as Larry the Cable Guy, to address the team Aug. 16. SMU center Ben Poynter was recently highlighted on local Dallas television for his work with Heart House, where he tutors and mentors children. Texas Defensive Coordinator Gene Chizik, Connecticut Head Coach Randy Edsall and Tulsa Head Coach Steve Kragthorpe were dubbed “coaches on the rise” in Sports Illustrated’s 2006 College Football Preview.

Roger Goodell, the NFL’s new commissioner, was recruited to play defensive back by Washington & Jefferson, his alma mater, but a knee injury ended his playing days. The Aug. 14 issue of Sports Illustrated profiled 2008 Olympic hopeful Chloe Sutton, the daughter of David Sutton, a defensive tackle on the 1985 Air Force team that beat Texas in the Bluebonnet Bowl and finished No. 8 in the nation. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, a member of the 1991 Miami Hurricane National Championship team, is starring in Gridiron Gang, a movie about a group of teenagers at juvenile detention center who gain their self-esteem on the football field. The movie opens Sept. 15. Current National Football Foundation Board Member Willie Lanier was recently named the greatest player in the history of the Kansas City Chiefs in a ranking of all-time Chiefs conducted by the Dallas Morning News. The former Morgan State great was selected to the NFF’s College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

The Dallas branch of the University of Texas Alumni Association will honor fabled Longhorn wide receiver Johnny “Lam” Jones at its 19th annual golf outing, which will be held at Firewheel Golf Club on Oct. 6. Jones, an All-America and member of the 1976 Gold Medal U.S. Olympic 400-meter relay team, was recently diagnosed with an incurable form of blood and bone cancer. Former head coaches Ken Hatfield and Barry Switzer are among those scheduled to speak to the Little Rock Touchdown Club this fall. Kansas will hold its annual Fan Appreciation and Kid’s Day on Aug. 23, where Jayhawk fans can watch the team practice, take pictures, get autographs and hear Head Coach Mark Mangino speak. The Walter Camp Football Foundation recently announced its Player of the Year “watch list,” which includes 35 of the nation’s top players.

The University of Illinois will begin construction on its $160 million stadium renovation, which is projected to be finished for the Fighting Illini 2008 football season. Syracuse and Steiner Sports have announced a multi-faceted marketing partnership of “Syracuse Steiner Collectibles,” consisting of memorabilia called “Orange Nation” and fantasy experiences such as meeting coaches or participating in opening coin tosses. The Houston Bowl has been renamed the Texas Bowl, which will match up a Big 12 team against a team from either Conference USA, the Big East, or TCU from the Mountain West Conference.

Georgia Athletic Association will distribute "I'm Georgia" towels to the first 25,000 fans at the season home opener. No. 21 TCU has sold out their Sept. 16 home game against No. 25 Texas Tech. With 67,800 season tickets sold, Louisiana State University has broken the school record of season ticket sales for the Tigers’ eight home football games this year, and it is the third consecutive season that season tickets have sold out. The College of William & Mary has sold over 2,870 season tickets, which already surpasses their sales last year of 2,819. Iowa State reached their 2006 goal of selling over 30,000 season tickets. Iowa fans previewed the newly renovated Kinnick Stadium on Aug. 19 during an open practice with half-priced concessions.

Temple and Villanova have agreed to schedule four future games against one other. Florida Atlantic and South Florida agreed to play a three-game football series beginning in 2007. A six- to eight-game deal is in sight for Boston College and Syracuse. Boston College Athletics Director Gene DeFilippo announced that he is committed to play at least one New England Division I-AA opponent each season. Georgia Tech will play at least two Southeastern Conference teams per year for seven years beginning in 2008.

SECsports.com, the official athletics web site of the Southeastern Conference will be re-branded as SECsports.com powered by Cingular, which became the exclusive telecommunications sponsor of the conference. The NFL Network has added the All-American Classic College All-Star Game to its existing coverage of the Insight Bowl, Texas Bowl, and Senior Bowl. The Western Athletic Conference has announced the addition of XOS Technologies as a Network Partner. Boston College football fans will have the opportunity to submit questions on the Tom O’Brien Show, presented by AceTicket.com, which begins Aug. 21 and continues throughout the 2006 season. Tulsa University’s Head Coach Steve Kragthorpe has signed a four-year contract to continue his radio call-in show on Newstalk 740 AM KRMG Radio. North Carolina announced that former player and assistant coach Ken Mack will serve as lead analyst for the Tar Heels’ football broadcasts. Ivy League teams, and those in other small conferences, will start airing their games via team websites.

Marshall gave Head Coach Mark Synder a three-year contract extension. The University of Louisiana at Monroe Athletic Foundation awarded Charles “Chuck” McMullen with the J.H. “Slim” Scogin Exemplary Services Award. Central Florida named Joe Hornstein assistant athletics director for communications and Ryan Powell as associate director for athletics communications. Purdue hired Joe Muller as senior associate athletics director for external relations. Herb Yamanaka returns to Oregon as a full-time associate athletics director. The University of North Carolina announced former Tar Heel football captain and director of operations Rick Steinbacher as its new associate athletic director for marketing and promotions. Oregon promoted Gary Gray to senior associate athletics director for the Ducks.

Piero (Pete) Harris, a 1978 All-America safety at Penn State, died Aug. 9 at the age of 49. After growing up in Mount Holly, N.J., Harris and his brothers Franco (1969) and Giueseppe (1979-81), started for the Nittany Lions and Coach Joe Paterno. Tom Cronan, husband of Tennessee Women's Athletics Director Joan Cronan and a professor at Carson-Newman College, passed away Aug. 18.

Editors’ Note

This will be the last edition of Chalktalk until after the conclusion of the college football season. The NFF thanks you for your continued support of this publication. Please look for the NFF’s This Week in College Football, which will be released every Monday during the college football season.

With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. The NFF presents the MacArthur Trophy, the Draddy Trophy presented by HealthSouth and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., Play It Smart, the NFF Center for Youth Development Through Sport at Springfield College (Mass.), the NFL-NFF Coaching Academy, and scholarships of over $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes.

For more information, please visit www.footballfoundation.org


NFF Contacts

Phil Marwill…………… Director of Communications

Hillary Jeffries………… Special Projects Assistant

22 Maple Avenue

Morristown, NJ 07960

973-829-1933 (phone)

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