Monday, October 15, 2007

College Football weekly news and notes

-Courtesy of the National Football Foundation

On Friday, October 12, Columbia University launched The Columbia Campaign for Athletics: Achieving Excellence, a $100 million initiative in support of "people, places, and programs." To date, Columbia has raised more than $40.5 million toward the overall goal.

The kickoff, which came at a special ceremony in Low Memorial Library on the eve of Columbia's Homecoming weekend, saw the announcement of the two leadership pledges made to The Columbia Campaign for Athletics: $10 million from University Trustees Chair Bill Campbell '62 CC and $5 million from Robert Kraft '63 CC. Campbell, chairman of Intuit, is a former football captain and head football coach at Columbia; Kraft, chairman of The Kraft Group and owner of the NFL's New England Patriots, played football for the Lions.

The Columbia Campaign for Athletics: Achieving Excellence is part of The Columbia Campaign, a $4 billion University-wide effort launched in fall 2006 that is expected to conclude on December 31, 2011. More than $2.4 billion has been raised already.

Kern, Williams to be Honored

2007 College Football Hall of Fame inductees Rex Kern (Ohio State) and Reggie Williams (Dartmouth) will be honored this Saturday with On-Campus Salutes at their respective alma maters.

Kern, the first All-America (1969) quarterback to play for legendary coach Woody Hayes, led OSU to three consecutive Big Ten titles and the 1968 National Championship. NFF board member and 1986 College Football Hall of Famer Archie Griffin will present Kern with a plaque for the university to display.

Arguably Dartmouth's greatest linebacker ever, Reggie Williams cultivated one of the most highly decorated defensive careers in Ivy League history and still holds the school record for the career unassisted tackles (243). Former Dartmouth head football coach Jake Crouthamel will assist with the presentation.

NFF News

153 student-athletes have been named as semifinalists for the acclaimed 2007 NFF Draddy Trophy and candidates for the 2007 National Scholar-Athlete Awards.

One of college football's most sought-after and competitive awards, the Draddy Trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership. Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to credit a player for both academic and athletics accomplishments.

The NFF Awards Committee will select and announce up to 15 finalists on Oct. 25. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2007 National Scholar- Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Draddy winner will be announced at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on December 4 at the prestigious Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. A total distribution of more than $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening.

The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame has inked a long-term partnership with Sprinturf, a leading U.S. provider of synthetic turf systems. The relationship makes Sprinturf the exclusive provider of synthetic playing surfaces for the NFF as well as an official corporate partner of the organization and the presenting sponsor of the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon. Sprinturf will also serve as the presenting sponsor of the NFF Chapter Network newsletter. Additionally, the company will participate in a unique chapter relationship to support the financial needs of the 120 NFF chapters for scholarships and programs such as coaching clinics, leadership conferences and free physicals for high school students.

Notre Dame standout Rocket Ismail was on hand last Saturday to sign autographs at the NFF College Hall of Fame in South Bend as part of the Football Fridays' weekend attractions. Boston College's entire team and coaching staff assembled for a "meet and greet" session before they toured the Hall of Fame last Friday. Area school choirs also had a special football music program during the weekend.

BCS News

Six FBS schools - Arizona State, Boston College, Hawai'i, Kansas, Ohio State, and South Florida - remain undefeated after another weekend of upsets. Five earlier 2007 unbeatens lost their initial games last week, and 11 teams ranked nationally in the Top 10 have lost games in the last three weeks. The first BCS Standings of the 2007 season, released nationally by The National Football Foundation, had four newcomers: USF at No. 2; Kentucky at No. 7; Kansas at No. 13; and Cincinnati at No. 24. This brings the all-time total of schools in BCS ratings (69 surveys since 1998) to 76 - almost three-quarters of the 119 current FBS membership. USF made the highest BCS standings' debut since Ohio State was No. 2 in the first announcement on Oct. 26, 1998.

Zerbin Singleton of Navy has been nominated for the FedEx Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. The senior SB overcame a troubled background to win an appointment to the Naval Academy and hopes to reach his ultimate goal of becoming an astronaut... The Fiesta Bowl hired Stan Laybourne as its chief financial officer.

Two-Minute Drill

Cincinnati and Hawai'i have contracted to play in 2008 in Honolulu... Mansfield (Pa.) has announced the formation of a varsity football squad and competition in the Collegiate Sprint Football League in 2008. The CSFL includes Cornell, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Army and Navy... Vanderbilt's redshirt football student-athletes now meet at 5:30 a.m. on Fridays for "Power Hour" weight and training sessions... Duke and Florida State will honor America's military heroes by participating in the Wounded Warriors Program on Oct. 27... Syracuse and the Salvation Army teamed up for "Dome Donation Day" at last week's Syracuse-Rutgers clash... James Madison student-athletes recently had special recognition and greetings for area Special Olympians and families at the JMU-Coastal Carolina football game and "Day With the Dukes"... Oklahoma State's Student Government Association is sponsoring the Take a Kid to the Game program for underserved children in the Stillwater area for OSU's test on Nov. 10 with Kansas in Big 12 play... Wyoming football coaches' wives, campus groups and the U.S. Marines are spearheading the annual Toys for Tots drive during the holiday season in the Laramie area... Otterbein (Ohio) hosted its annual Community Appreciation Day last Saturday with free admission to football and weekend events... College Football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus of Illinois and his son, former Southern California DL Matt Butkus, are continuing nationwide sportsmanship and anti-steroid usage efforts through speaking engagements and a new Web site for the Play It Clean Program - Southern Illinois AD Mario Moccia was the guest speaker at an NFF Tom Lombardo/St. Louis Chapter luncheon... 59-year- old grandfather Mike Flynt played end on all seven Sul Ross State (Texas) extra-point and field goal tries as SRSU edged Texas Lutheran 45-42 in triple overtime. It was the first collegiate action in 37 years for Flynt and the most extensive laying time in college football history for any student-athlete over 50.

UC Davis' Aggie Stadium was formally dedicated last Saturday after its $31 million renovation... Northern Illinois named its Brigham Field at Huskie Stadium pressbox after late, legendary sports information director Owen "Bud" Nangle and his surviving wife Joyce at last weekend's 101st Homecoming contest.

Charlie Carr has been named director of athletics at Midwestern State (Texas)... Louisville AD Tom Jurich has received automatic contract renewals for the next 16 years until he turns 67 and an additional compensation package by the UL Board of Trust... Retired Brigham Young AD Glen Tuckett received the BYU Distinguished Service Award at 2007 Homecoming activities along with such groups as the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Houston will host the annual East-West Shrine All- Star Game at 6 p.m. (CST) on Saturday, Jan. 19, at John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium for the first time. The nation's original college football all-star game will be carried live on ESPN2... American Football Alumni has signed an agreement with the seventh annual East Coast College All Star Bowl as presenting sponsor for the Nov. 14, 2007, contest.

The FastSoft Co. now is working with XOS Technologies to increase system speed and streaming procedures for internet sports broadcasts... Wyoming has extended its sports properties and broadcasting agreements with Learfield Sports through 2017... Florida Atlantic has retained the Leffler Agency of Tampa, Fla., and Baltimore, Md., as its public relations agency of record.

South Carolina's famed "Ole Ball Coach," College Football Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy winner Steve Spurrier has been named the 2007 Davey O'Brien Legends Award winner for his contributions to football. The Award will be presented at the Foundation's 31st Annual Awards Dinner on Feb.18, 2008, at The Fort Worth Club in Fort Worth, Texas... 1997 NFF Draddy Trophy winner Peyton Manning of Tennessee has received the 2007 Donald G. Hileman Distinguished Alumni Award - the highest honor an alumni honor from the UT College of Communication and Information... 1995 NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award recipient Fred Jacoby is receiving the University of Texas at Dallas Athletics Special Achievement Award for his recent work as commissioner of the American Southwest and Lone Star Conferences... Northern Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame inducted retired coach/AD/conference commissioner Jerry Ippoliti and football stalwart Mike Terna into its Class of 2007... Villanova will induct football greats Frank Boal, John Heim and Bryan Russo into the Varsity Club Hall of Fame at Nov. 16 ceremonies... The NACDA McLendon Foundation Steering Committee has inaugurated the Allan H. (Bud) Selig Mentoring Award for a deserving athletics administrator who has been at the forefront of creating opportunities for young minorities looking to get into athletics administration... Houston named Houston Rockets' star Tracy McGrady and former Cougars' play-by- play announcer Bill Worrell as honorary co- captains for UH-Rice Bayou Bucket tussle... The Empire 8 Conference has joined Indiana and Bucknell as recipients of All-American Sportsmanship Conference and School Awards for National Sportsmanship Day by the Institute for International Sport on Mar. 4, 2008. The Empire 8 is the first league honored by IIS.

DeWitt "Tex" Coulter, 83, died in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 2. He was an All-America tackle on Army's 1945 national championship squad and 1997 inductee in to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame... Robert Pulliam, 54, standout defensive lineman at Tennessee, died of cancer last week in Salisbury, N.C... Conley Snidow, Jr. , 91, Wofford's winningest all- time football coach at 93-77-4 from 1953-66, died on Oct. 7... Photographer Linda Kaye, 65, of Fort Worth, Texas, passed away on Oct. 7. She had photographed college football games for over 40 years.

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