March 31, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The names of three former Notre Dame football all-stars — Tim Brown, Dave Casper and Jim Seymour – along with that of 11-year Irish head coach Lou Holtz, whose 1988 team won the national championship, appear on the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) ballot released earlier this month. The ballot contains names of 75 players and eight coaches vying for induction in 2008.
The ballot hit the mail to the more than 12,000 members of the NFF and College Hall of Fame whose votes will be recorded and submitted to the Foundation’s honors court, which deliberates and is responsible for selecting the class. The honors court, an 11-member panel chaired by Gene Corrigan, the former Notre Dame athletic director, Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner and NCAA past president.
The Hall of Fame class will be announced May 1 and then inducted at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame’s 51st Awards Dinner Dec. 9 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been chosen first-team All-America by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for their consensus All-America teams, played their last year of intercollegiate football at least 10 years prior, played within the last 50 years and be retired from playing professional football. Coaches must be out of the college coaching profession for at least three years, coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach, not be coaching on the professional level and have won at least 60 percent of their games. In both cases, the candidate’s post-football record as a citizen may also be weighed.
Once nominated for consideration, all player candidates are submitted to one of eight district screening committees, depending on their geographic location, which conducts a vote to determine who appears on the ballot and represents their respective districts. Each year, 15 candidates not selected for the Hall of Fame are named automatic holdovers and bypass the district screening process and automatically appear on the ballot the following year.
Here are details on the four former Irish players and coaches on the ballot:
- Tim Brown – Wide Receiver – Two-time first-team All-American in 1986 and 1987 … unanimous selection in 1987 … Heisman Trophy winner in 1987 …won 1987 Walter Camp Player of the Year award … set 19 Notre Dame records during his career … set Notre Dame record for career pass reception yardage (2493) and returned six kicks for touchdowns (three punts, three kickoffs).
- Dave Casper – Offensive Lineman/Tight End – 1973 consensus first-team All-American … played in 1974 Hula Bowl and College All-Star Game … Notre Dame co-captain and offensive MVP in 1973 on national championship team … 1973 Academic All-America selection … received post-graduate scholarships from NCAA and National Football Foundation … received NCAA Silver Anniversary Award and is member of Academic All-America Hall of Fame.
- Jim Seymour – End – Two-time first-team All-America selection (1967-68) … led the team in receiving from 1966-68 … set Notre Dame career records for receptions (138) and receiving yards (2,113) and for pass receptions in a game (13 vs. Purdue in 1966) and still holds record for receiving yards in a game (276 in that same game).
- Lou Holtz – Head Coach at William & Mary (1969-71), North Carolina State (1972-75), Arkansas (1977-83), Minnesota (1984-85), Notre Dame (1986-96), South Carolina (1999-2004) — Ranked eighth among all-time coaches in career wins (249) … only coach in NCAA history to lead six different programs to bowl games and four different programs to final Top 20 rankings … led Notre Dame to 1988 national championship … finished with final 249-132-7 (.651) career record.
With 121 chapters and more than 12,000 members nationwide, the National Football Foundation and 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 America’s young people. NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, and annual scholarships of nearly $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes.
Notre Dame has 42 former players and five former coaches already enshrined in the Hall of Fame, providing more inductees than any other institution. The most recent addition is former Lombardi Award winner Chris Zorich, who was inducted in December 2007 and will be enshrined in July 2008.
— ND —