When the National Football Foundation put out the nominees for their 2019 Hall of Fame Ballot Monday afternoon it was lengthy, but we immediately honed in on a group of players that surprised us that they were not already in the Hall.
First, you must take into account not only criteria, but when someone is eligible to be put in, before leveling any questions and criticisms.
From the NFF press release announcing the list, here is that criteria:
The criteria for Hall of Fame consideration include:
• 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 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 2019 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1969 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.
So, with that taken int0 account. Here are several names that still have us scratching out head:
Ray Lewis (above): First team All American in 1995 and arguably one of the two or three greatest tacklers that the Miami Hurricanes have had (and that’s saying something). His last two years he was the most dominant defensive player in Big East East Conference and Miami went to the Fiesta Bowl and the Orange Bowl.
Now, the third criteria above is obviously a hold up, as Lewis was involved and charged with double homicide in a stabbing incident at the Superbowl in Atlanta in January of 2000. However, he maintained his innocence and was acquitted of all charges. Lewis was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in January on his first year of eligibility and will be inducted in Canton in July.
It’s hard to believe he’s not gotten in the college version to this point.
Eric Dickerson: A First Team All American and the old Southwest Conference Player of the year is also still SMU’s all time leading rusher and arguably one of the two or three greatest college running backs of 1980’s. He went on to Hall of Fame NFL career and was inducted almost 20 years ago (1999) in Canton.
Again, there was major scandal involving paying of players (including Dickerson) at SMU and they eventually received the NCAA Death Penalty for the football program. That’s a blotch, for sure.
However, it’s been 30 years. Dickerson deserves in the college hall at this point.
Raghib “Rocket” Ismail: A Two time All American at Notre Dame and largely regarded as the greatest kick returner in modern college football history. He was the Walter Camp National Player of the Year and then, runner of for the Heisman in 1990. Ismail was part of Notre Dame’s National Title in 1988 and then played for the title, again in 1990 in the Orange Bowl.
While he doesn’t have staggering receiving stats, he was one of the most dangerous open field players in the 40 years of the game. It’s hard to believe with “Notre Dame” next to his name that he’s not in. But it’s been more than 25 years since he played college football. He deserves it.
And finally, we may be a little more biased on this one but,
Terrell Buckley: 1991 Unanimous All American at FSU. Won the newly created (at that time) Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. Led the NCAA that year with 12 interceptions, and finished with a Noles record 21 in his career that still stands today.
Buckley, out of the mold of Deion Sanders, was also an awesome punt returner, too and finished his career with seven total INT and Punt runback TDs in his career.
He only dominated for one great season, but FSU was a dominant program in the era that he played and “T Buck” was a great player in a what was an elite program every year for two decades.
He deserves a strong look.
Voting will continue among the thousands of those who are eligible from the National Football Foundation through June 22nd. Then, there will be an update on finalists, etc.
We have to believe that a couple of those names above will get the call next January to go to Atlanta and the CFP Hall of Fame home.
New Jersey authorities charge Janoris Jenkins brother in homicide at his home
It only took a little over 24 hours for authorities in Bergen County, New Jersey to make an arrest in the homicide at the home of New York Giants defensive back Janoris Jenkins. And as it turns out, Jenkins older brother William is being charged aggravated manslaughter in the death of 25-year-old Roosevelt Rene.
Rene, who had been staying at the Jenkins home as a guest and friend of the family, was found by a worker in the basement of the home on Tuesday morning.
The 34 year old older brother, William Jenkins had been taken into custody early Tuesday in New Jersey and was sent to Ontario County, New York on a parole violation. He is in the process of being extradited across the New York/New Jersey state lines to Bergen County to face the manslaughter charge.
JUST IN: Janoris Jenkins’ brother charged with manslaughter https://t.co/c3u8x4UE3M
— New York Post (@nypost) June 27, 2018
On Monday evening the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that Rene had been strangled or suffocated to death.
Meanwhile. Janoris Jenkins, who just completed his second season with the Giants after signing as a free agent, is reportedly still in Florida. And, he has yet to comment either himself or through a spokesperson about the death at his home.
Janoris Jenkins was not believed to have been home this weekend as neighbors reported that he and his girlfriend had gone to Florida two weeks ago after Giants mini-camp at concluded.
The Giants have had no comment other than they are monitoring the situation.
As we wrote on Monday, Jenkins is a former star at Pahokee High School where they won the state championship and was part of the Gators National Championship season of 2008 as a freshman in Gainesville.
Is there a referee crisis for the NFL?
Over the course of the past couple of weeks a story has developed that isn’t getting nearly as much attention as it probably should.
Whether or not Quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski are happy or unhappy with the New England Patriots and coach Bill Belichick is also a big deal.
And yes, whether or not players, like Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, can get new contracts or will be holding out come training camp next month is again, a big deal.
However, we haven’t seen nearly as much coverage on something that is also very significant once the game start being played. There are four former NFL referees from a year ago that have all resigned/retired and that’s a big number all at once.
As is laid out here, with the NBC official announcement Thursday that former referee Terry McAulay will be joining NBC Sunday Night Football in the booth, that means three of them will be in the Network TV booth this fall:
Now official: Terry McAulay to NBC. Gene Steratore to CBS. Per sources: Jeff Triplette to ESPN to replace Gerry Austin, who joined Raiders.
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) June 27, 2018
There has already been some eyebrow raising at Triplette going to Monday Night Football as a rules expert for ESPN, but they obviously had a need when Gerry Austin agreed to go join former MNF analyst Jon Gruden in a newly created position with the Raiders.
And as for Steratore, who worked Superbowl 52 last year, he will serve not only in the booth with the Jim Nantz and Tony Romo, but will be used as a college basketball rules analyst this winter for CBS’ hoops coverage. He’s shown above dealing with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll being on the field and flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct in their December loss at the Jaguars.
The fourth referee is Ed Hochuli, who is retiring and yet to have a TV role, if there is one for him.
The bigger point is that everyone of these head referees are long time veterans and represent approximately 25-30% of the referees who work weekends in the NFL.
And in the cases of Steratore and McAulay, they are younger than Triplette and Hochuli, and could have conceivably been referees another 10 years or so, had they wanted.
So, why didn’t they want to continue?
Former supervisor of the NFL officials and now Fox TV rules analyst, Mike Pereira, has repeatedly expressed that due to the micromanaging that HD replay reviews have caused, that many of the “rank and file” are disgruntled and discouraged.
And, if several on field officials can follow his lead and end up with a high paying network TV gig, then who can begrudge them?
Still, we at F.F.I. can’t hope but wonder if this kind of turnover with head referees will have some effect with the new ones taking over botching calls or situations come this fall.
Former Bucs first round pick McCants arrested, again
The sad tale of former Buccaneers number one pick Keith McCants continues, as early Monday morning he was arrested, yet again, this time in St. Petersburg for drug possession.
McCants, who was taken fourth overall as the Bucs first round pick in 1990, was booked in the Pinellas County jail for felony possession of crack cocaine.
According to jail records, this is the ninth different time that McCants has been arrested on some charge in the Tampa Bay area in the last eight years.
McCants, now 50 years old, never lived up to the billing of being taken in the top five, as he played only three seasons in Tampa Bay,. He battled weight and knee problems and only registered 12 sacks in three seasons. He also played for the Oilers and the Cardinals in subsequent seasons, but was out of the NFL by 1995.
McCants has repeatedly tried to get his life in order, including giving motivational speeches and writing an essay in the Sporting News in 2011 warning younger players about dangers with drugs, etc. and his troubles.
The former Alabama All American was also featured on the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Broke” in 2012, where he detailed how he had lost all of his $4.5 million dollars from his playing career.
McCants was booked at 4:24 a.m. in the Pinellas County Jail Monday morning and bonded out at $2,000 on the felony charge for drug possession, and also for driving with a revoked or suspended license.
One of McCants previous arrests was for driving with a suspended license in January of this year and he was to have stood trial on July 10th on that charge.
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