Monday, September 17, 2007

College Football weekly news and notes

-Courtesy of the Natinal Football Foundation

NFF News
An On-Campus Salute for 2007 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Ahmad Rashad was held last week in Eugene during Oregon-Fresno State game festivities. Rashad was a two- position standout and set 14 school records from 1969-71 at Oregon. He also is the only player in Pacific-10 (the Pac-8) Conference history to lead the circuit in scoring while playing two different positions. An Emmy Award-winning sportscaster, the Tacoma, Wash., native is active in several national charitable organizations and works for NBA Entertainment. He currently resides in Greenwich, Conn.

The Northwest Indiana Chapter of the NFF officially changed its name to honor the man who helped inspire its creation four years ago. The chapter has been renamed the Joe Tiller Chapter of Northwest Indiana to recognize the founding efforts of Purdue's current head coach, now in his 11th season. The announcement was made during the chapter's annual Honors Dinner, "Celebrating Our Legends III," at the Purdue Memorial Union Ballroom.

A college football mural painted by four students at Sierra High School in Colorado will be unveiled on Nov. 9 at the College Football Hall of Fame. The students' artwork has also been displayed at the Presidential Library in Texas and the front office of the AFL's Colorado Crush.

Two-Minute Drill

TE Kevin Everett of Miami (Fla.) and the Buffalo Bills has been showing marked improvement after suffering a broken neck in a Sept. 9 NFL contest in Buffalo. Doctors used a technique to induce mild hypothermia and reduce swelling at the time of the injury to maximize his chances for recovery. Texas A&M TE Martellus Bennett received permission to have his number changed to No. 85 to honor Everett, who met with Bennett during the former's recruiting visit to Miami as a high school senior.

Kentucky's 40-34 win over then-No. 9 Louisville was the Wildcats' first over a Top 10 opponent since a 24-20 verdict over No. 4 Penn State in 1977. UK (No. 21 this week) also jumped into the Associated Press ratings for the first time since 1984 after the stunner... Yale, the first college football team to record 800 victories, entered the '07 season with its first-ever preseason FCS national ranking at No. 21... Several Nebraska fans who bought season tickets for Wake Forest home contests to attend the NU- WF game on Sept. 8 have donated their unused tickets to The Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Forsyth County, N.C., and the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Bragg (N.C.) Womack Army Medical Center... Navy has sold a school-record 22,634 season tickets this year... Wyoming season ticket sales climbed 3.4 percent from 2006 to '07 to just over 6,700 and were second-highest in school history behind 6,887 sold in 1999... Mississippi State is offering reduced "family rate" tickets for upcoming home tests against Gardner-Webb and UAB ... Washington State is commemorating its 1997 Pac-10 Conference title team and Rose Bowl squad with a series of 10-year anniversary tributes... Eastern Michigan held a 20th Anniversary Celebration of its California Bowl victory. Nearly 60 former players, coaches and trainers attended and were honored at halftime during the EMU-Ball State game... Air Force is playing without the traditional stripes on its helmets for the first time since 1979... Columbia chartered several buses to transports its fans to last Saturday night's game at Fordham ... Proceeds from Saturday's Washington and Lee- Averett tussle in Salem, Va., will be donated to Habitat for Humanity... Montana State attracted a season-home-opening record of 14,217 against Dixie State last week. It was the largest crowd ever for a game at Bozeman except MSU-Montana series bouts... Texas-San Antonio students have approved an increase in fees to help fund the school's future football program... Northern Arizona has proclaimed spirited "True Blue Fridays" (school colors) to foster support for its football and other squads. Students and area fans are encouraged to wear blue. North Texas has continued a similar "Think Green" fashion on Fridays in efforts to foster athletics spirit... The Cotton Bowl is selling a limited number of commemorative 71st AT&T Cotton Bowl posters, autographed by Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville and Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan.

Purdue's student service organization Letters from Home distributed hundreds of blank postcards during the Purdue-Central Michigan game last week for fans to send encouraging messages to U.S. service personnel worldwide... UCF had its first sellout in school history for the opening of Bright House Networks Stadium last Saturday against Texas in Orlando... Active and retired military personnel were treated to discounted tickets at last Saturday's Idaho State at Oregon State fracas... Montana State and the Montana Highway Patrol are partnering to assist the Highway Patrol's Montana Hope Project to aid critically and chronically ill children with their medical expenses. A Montana Highway Patrolman also will be on the sidelines for every MSU home contest... Minnesota and Allianz Co. hosted Hope Day for area underserved Minnesota HopeKids last Tuesday. Included in the festivities for 900-plus families were clinics, autograph sessions and meet and greet UM student-athletes and administrators... Connecticut and Temple worked with the American Football Coaches Association and the FBI last week in providing families with Child I.D. Kits for the National Child Identification Program... $2 from every adult ticket sold at last week's Colgate at Dartmouth contest went to United Way charities as part of DC's "Community Day" ceremonies... Delaware and Towson students will relay a football 58 miles from Newark, Del., to Towson's Johnny Unitas Stadium for the coin toss in the second Pigskin Pass Saturday... Pittsburgh and Iowa renew their (last played in 1952) series in 2008... Navy research indicated that the Midshipmen's 521 yards rushing in a loss to Ball State represented the third-highest tally ever in a FBS team defeat... Northwestern has signed future scheduling agreements with Rice for 2010 and '11 and Boston College in 2011 and '12... Florida State QB Drew Weatherford interned in summer 2007 with the Florida state legislature in Tallahassee and is considering a career in politics... Texas Tech head coach threw the first pitch at the Houston Astros' game last Friday, while the Red Raiders were in town to play Rice.

Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech (vs. Ohio) and Jim Tressel of Ohio State (vs. Washington) each garnered their 200th college head coaching wins... Mike Bellotti of Oregon (vs. Fresno State) won his 100th game with the Ducks last Saturday... Last week's meeting of head coaches Lou West at Indiana State and Tony Samuel at Southeast Missouri State was the first-ever meeting between African- American head coaches at non-Historically Black Colleges on the NCAA FCS level.

Jeff Long has been named AD at Arkansas in succeeding 34-year living legend AD and NFF College Hall of Fame coach Frank Broyles. Senior associate AD Donna Sanft has been selected as interim AD at Pittsburgh... Mark Hollis has been chosen Athletics Director-Designate (fulltime on Jan. 1, 2008) at Michigan State.

ABC will air six half-hour "Road to the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year" specials, hosted by Keith Jackson and Kirk Herbstreit. The show will start on Sept. 22 and conclude Nov. 10... Sirius Radio has launched an all-sports channel (123) for its worldwide satellite affiliates, featuring the College Football Coaches Show every Wednesday with Terry Bowden and Jack Arute. Rivals College Sports Radio and The Troy Aikman Show will also air on the network... DISH Network has added The Big Ten Network on a subscription basis on DISH Channel 493... Southlake (Texas) Carroll HS-Miami Northwestern HS on ESPNU and Euless (Texas) Trinity HS-Odessa (Texas) on FSN last weekend are two of 22 games involving 43 high school teams from 15 states being carried national by ESPN or FSN outlets in '07. Miami Northwestern ended Carroll's Texas-leading winning streak at 49 games (since 2002) with a 29-21 victory at SMU's Gerald R. Ford Stadium in front of 31,000.

Ohio State and Nike have signed a seven-year agreement for the corporation to use the company's footwear and apparel exclusively... Share Trust financial services group has donated $1.5 million to Northwestern Oklahoma State for football and athletics facilities' remodeling... Valparaiso has received an anonymous donation of $1 million for new artificial turf at its football stadium... Collegiate Financial Services has added 10 regional field offices to serve more than 80 additional colleges and universities.

1951 NFF College Hall of Fame inductee RB Ernie Nevers of Stanford has been named the 25th-greatest college football player of all time on the IBM Top 25 College Players list. The entire group will be announced on ABC and ESPN telecasts throughout 2007 and the '08 bowls with the No. 1 player being named during the Rose Bowl... Former Florida State standout and Pro Bowl LB Peter Boulware will seek a vacant House of Representatives seat in the Florida legislature in 2008... The Citizens Bank in Rusk, Texas, is displaying memorabilia from the career of 1980 NFF Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Jim Swink... 1982- 88 head coach Jackie Sherrill and Aggies' defensive line standout Richmond Webb are among the school's latest additions to the Texas A&M Sports Hall of Fame. Football letterman Bill Cauthorn and longtime booster Bud Chalmers were selected for the Aggies Hall of Honor... Syracuse All-America TE John Mackey had his jersey retired during the Illinois at SU contest last Saturday. It was also "Patriotic Day" at the Carrier Dome with salutes to U.S. armed services. Former Orange All- America Tim Green represented Syracuse as honorary captain against Illinois... 2007 NFF College Hall of Fame nominee Deion Sanders of Florida State and his family are starring in an Oxygen Network reality series this fall... Western Kentucky retired the jersey of former All- America LB Dale Lindsey at the WKU- Eastern Kentucky contest last Saturday... Among USA TODAY's Top 25 Sports Stories from 1982-2007 to celebrate the publication's 25-year anniversary is No. 11 - 2007 NFF Hall of Fame inductee Doug Flutie's "Hail Mary" pass to edge Miami (Fla.) in 1984... Regions Financial Corporation and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) have announced the 2007 inductees into the Regions SEC Business Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame recognizes former SEC student-athletes who excelled in amateur athletics and who are now successful business owners. Football standouts in the Class of 2007 are Larry S. Banks, Vanderbilt; Dr. Gregg Carr, Auburn; Richard (Dick) Hatfield, Arkansas; Mike McEnany, Mississippi State; Doug Pelfrey, Kentucky; and Bill Stanfill, Georgia.

The American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team was released last week and included some of the top student-athletes nationally and their off-field volunteerism. The AFCA honors youngsters for their dedication and commitment to community service and has been selecting the Good Works Team since 1997. Oklahoma's Nic Harris, Georgia's Kelin Johnson, Northwestern's Adam Kedela and Notre Dame's Tom Zbikowski are among some of the honorees... Hawai'i's Brian Kajiyama is the first nominee for the FedEx Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award to be announced at the end of the 2007 season. Kajiyama, 30, is in his first season as a graduate assistant with the Warriors. A longtime UH football fan, Kajiyama was born with cerebral palsy, but has inspired coaches and student-athletes alike with his dedication. Kajiyama, who uses a wheelchair and speaks though a text-to-speech device, graduated with honors from Hawai'i in 2003. He recently received his Masters of Education in guidance and counseling and is pursuing a PhD. Former VMI director of athletics Tom Joynes, 79, died last Tuesday in Roanoke, Va... Jane Wyman, 93, former wife of NFF Gold Medal recipient and U.S. President Ronald Reagan from 1940-48, died last week in California.

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