Cal's Bartkowski and Rivera Included on Ballot for College Football Hall of Fame
March 12, 2008
BERKELEY - The California football program is represented by former All-Americans Stave Bartkowski and Ron Rivera on the 2008 College Football Hall of Fame ballot as announced by the National Football Foundation this week. The Golden Bear duo is among the 75 players and eight coaches who comprise the 2008 Football Bowl Subdivision Ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
A record-setting quarterback from 1972-74 for the Golden Bears, Bartkowski is the only Cal player ever picked No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft. As a senior, he led the nation in passing with 2,580 yards, and he completed his career with a then-Cal-record four 300-yard passing games. Cal's Most Valuable Player and a consensus first-team All-American in 1974, he was drafted No. 1 by the Atlanta Falcons and played in the NFL from 1975-86. He was the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1976 and the NFC MVP in 1980. In addition to football at Cal, Bartkowski was an All-American first baseman for the Bears in 1973 when he led the team with a .329 batting average.
Rivera was a consensus All-American for the Golden Bears as a senior in 1983 when he set a school-record with 26.5 tackles for loss. He was also named the Pac-10 Co-Defensive Player of the Year and was the recipient of the Pop Warner Award as the top senor on the West Coast. Rivera ended his career with 337 tackles, including 47.5 for losses. A second round pick of the Chicago Bears in 1984, Rivera played for the Bears until 1992, winning a Super Bowl in 1985. He was the Bears' Man of the Year for community service in 1990 and is currently coaching in the NFL.
'Since our founding in 1947, the NFF has stood at the forefront of preserving the rich history of our game, and nothing better represents our efforts than the selection of college football's greatest legends for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame,' said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. 'We take great care in engaging all our key constituents in the process, especially our membership. Their enthusiasm to have a voice is a testament to America's passion for college football.'
The ballot mailed this week to the more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF's Honors Court, which deliberates and selects the class. Chaired by Gene Corrigan, a former ACC Commissioner and NCAA president, the 11-member NFF Honors Court includes an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletics directors, conference commissioners, Hall of Famers and members of the media. Of the 4.6 million individuals who have played college football, only 829 players have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. From the coaching ranks, 178 individuals have achieved Hall of Fame distinction.
The Golden Bears have had 21 players and coaches enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame, including their most recent inductee, legendary quarterback Joe Kapp, who earned the honor in 2003.
'The College Football Hall of Fame symbolizes the pinnacle of achievement in our sport,' said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee from Ole Miss. 'Each year we go through a painstaking process to determine the names that will be added to a short list of our sport's finest players and coaches, and it's a privilege to play a role.'
The FBS Hall of Fame Class will be announced live on ESPNEWS at a press conference in New York City's prestigious Waldorf-Astoria on May 1 and inducted at The National Football Foundation's Annual Awards Dinner on December 9, 2008 also at the Waldorf-Astoria. They will be officially enshrined at the Hall in South Bend, Ind. in the summer of 2009.
To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been named a 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 ten years prior; played within the last 50 years and cannot be currently playing professional football. Coaches must have coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach; won at least 60% of their games; and be retired from coaching for at least three years; be retired from coaching and over the age of 70 (no waiting period); or over the age of 75 (active coaches eligible). 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 will appear on the ballot and represent their respective districts. Each year, 15 candidates, who are not selected for the Hall of Fame, will be named automatic holdovers and will bypass the district screening process and automatically appear on the ballot the following year. Additionally, the Honors Review Committee may make recommendations to Honors Court for exceptions that allow for the induction of players who played more than 50 years ago and coaches who have not won at least 60 percent of their games.