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Published:February 24th, 2009 10:10 EST
College Football News and Updates

College Football News and Updates

By SOP newswire2

Hall of Famer Brad Van Pelt Passes Away

Brad Van Pelt, 57, the two-time All-America Michigan State safety (1970-72) died of a heart attack last Tuesday in Owosso, Mich. He was the first defensive back to win the Maxwell Award in 1972 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

Arizona State's Randall McDaniel was recently honored for his 2008 College Football Hall of Fame induction at the NFF Valley of the Sun Chapter banquet.

Van Pelt recorded 14 interceptions in his career, returning two for touchdowns, and was named Chevrolet Defensive Player of the Year in 1972. He followed his senior season playing in the East-West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game and went on to play 14 years in the pros.

NFF Chapter News

Congratulations to NFF Minnesota Chapter President Sean Gothier who was named the 2008 Minnesota Vikings Community Quarterback Award winner, recognizing one individual annually who goes above and beyond all expectations to aid a community and make a difference in the lives of others. Keep up the great work, Sean.

Former Rice offensive lineman and NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas member Brendon Fitzgerald was recently recognized as one of the top producers in 2008 for Henry S. Miller Commercial.

The NFF Valley of the Sun Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet was held before a sellout crowd last weekend, honoring 23 standout high school student- athletes as well as the 2008 College Football Hall of Fame inductions of Randall McDaniel (Arizona State) and John Cooper, who coached the Sun Devils from 1985-87. College Football Hall of Famers Danny White (ASU) and Frank Kush (ASU) were also in attendance.

The NFF Columbus Chapter hosted its 48th annual scholar-athlete awards banquet on Feb. 9th. Awards were given to Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith (Ohio Gold Award); 13 high school scholar-athletes; and seven college football scholar-athletes, including NFF Draddy Trophy finalist Brian Robiskie of Ohio State. Robiskie was also praised by the NFL Network`s Steve Mariucci for his performance during last weekend`s NFL Scouting Combine. "Brian Robiskie works like crazy. He`s a character guy and you`re pulling for him," said Mariucci.

Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly was the featured speaker at last week`s NFF Cincinnati Chapter Awards Banquet.

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt will be the guest speaker at the NFF Miss-Lou Chapter banquet on Feb. 26.

The NFF Central Indiana Chapter banquet will take place on Feb. 28. Honorees include Purdue`s Joe Tiller (Distinguished American); Ball State`s Dante Love (Terry Courage Award); the Bloomington Herald`s Rex Kirts (Contribution to Amateur Football Award); and DePauw`s (Ind.) Michael McNelis (Collegiate Award).

NFF News

Chip Kell, a 2006 NFF College Hall of Fame inductee from Tennessee, was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in Nashville last weekend.

2000 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Terry Hoage (Georgia) will be inducted into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 28.

College Football Hall of Famer Donnie Shell (South Carolina State) is retiring after 15 years as the director of the Carolina Panthers` player development program.

2008 NFF College Hall of Fame coach Lou Holtz will be assisted by 1987 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown of Notre Dame for the Notre Dame All-Star Game in Tokyo, Japan, this summer. Fighting Irish legends Joe Montana and Mike Golic will serve as VIP Ambassadors for the contest.

Please submit any items for consideration in Chalktalk to

The 2009 NFF Ballot Issue of the Footballetter is set to be released to all NFF members the first week of March. Voting for the 2009 College Football Hall of Fame classes will close on March 31.

Become a fan of the National Football Foundation on Facebook - Upload your gameday photos, check out pictures of the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, and chat with other college football fans.

If you are a former NFF National Scholar-Athlete (collegiate) and would like to become a member of the National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, please contact NFF Director of Special Projects Hillary Jeffries at 800-486-1865 or via email at

To become an NFF member, please contact NFF Director of Membership Ron Dilatush at 800-486- 1865 or via email at

Many professionals with football backgrounds have included the NFF Scholarship Programs in their 2008 tax-deductible contributions or have extended their returns to include charitable donations to these programs.

For more information on the NFF and college football, including announcements from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and NCAA Football, please visit

Two-Minute Drill

Clemson will face TCU on Sept. 26, replacing Central Michigan on the Tigers` 2009 schedule... Navy will play Notre Dame at the New Meadowlands Stadium in 2010. The game will be aired nationally on CBS... Kansas State will play Tennessee Tech on Sept. 26... Cincinnati has added Illinois to its 2009 slate... Indiana`s 2009 schedule has been set, beginning with a Thursday night game against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 3... Texas head coach Mack Brown participated in recent Harlem Globetrotters` appearance in Austin... The Maryland Football chapter of Uplifting Athletes is hosting a charity video game tournament in recognition of Global Rare Disease Day on Saturday, Feb. 28. All proceeds will benefit Cystic Fibrosis... Northwestern anticipates a record turnout for the charity five-kilometer "Walk for Randy" during spring game weekend on Apr. 25 to assist the Randy Walker Scholarship Fund (in memory of the late Wildcats` coach) and the American Heart Association... Richmond has been honored by the Virginia General Assembly for capturing the 2008 NCAA FCS title... Toledo`s 2009 football team visited Lincoln Academy in Toledo to visit with youngsters in grades K-6 and emphasize the institution`s after school programs... ESPN and the Sun Belt Conference have extended their broadcast agreements through 2011-12 with unprecedented national coverage... Duke began the first phase of renovations on Wallace Wade Stadium... Central Michigan has signed a marketing and apparel agreement with Adidas... Cable network BYU-TV airs classic Cougar games on Saturday nights... Ann Arbor, Mich., leads Forbes magazine`s Top 10 College Sports Cities in a recent report based on competitive success of university teams, the NACDA Director`s Cup standings, real estate value, and quality of life. The rest of the Top 10 cities Palo Alto, Calif., Madison, Wis., Columbia, Mo., Durham, N.C., Chapel Hill, N.C., Cambridge, Mass., Austin, Texas, San Francisco, Calif., and Bloomington, Ind.

Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach signed a five-year contract extension... Montana head coach Bobby Hauck has agreed to a new one-year contract... Cal hired Andy Ludwig as offensive coordinator... Cincinnati has named Bob Diaco defensive coordinator... Pittsburgh hired Frank Cignetti, Jr. as offensive coordinator... Washington promoted Doug Nussmeier to offensive coordinator... Notre Dame promoted Corwin Brown to associate head coach... Akron added Shane Montgomery as offensive coordinator/tight ends coach and Walt Harris as passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach... Chris Tormey was hired as Nevada`s special teams coordinator... MAC Commissioner Rick Chryst will be leaving the conference at the completion of his current contract, which concludes on June 30, after a decade of service with the conference... David Blackburn has been promoted to senior associate athletics director for administration and football operations at Tennessee.

Texas QB Colt McCoy captured the 2008 Archie Griffin Award, named in honor of the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner and College Hall of Famer from Ohio State. Texas head coach Mack Brown will be honored on March 3 as the 2008 Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year... Wyoming has added football standouts Sean Fleming and Gene Huey have been added to its Athletics Hall of Fame 2009 class... NAIA Hall of Fame inductees include NFF Board Member and longtime NACDA executive director Mike Cleary (meritorious service), football legend Jerry Tolley (meritorious service), football legend Robert Shoup, and current Carson- Newman head coach Ken Sparks... Oregon State play-by-play voice Mike Parker has been named National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Oregon Broadcaster of the Year for the fifth time.

Noble Doss, 90, who made the "Impossible Catch" in Texas` 7-0 win over Texas A&M in 1940 and held UT`s career interceptions` record for 62 years with 17, died in Austin.

2009 Key NFF Dates

April 30: 2009 College Football Hall of Fame Class Announcement - New York, N.Y.
July 17-18: College Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival - South Bend, Ind.
July 28-Aug. 2: Annual Play It Smart National Conference - Houston, Texas
Dec. 8: NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria - New York, N.Y.

2010 BCS Schedule

Jan. 1: Rose Bowl presented by Citi - Pasadena, Calif., ABC
Jan. 1: Allstate Sugar Bowl - New Orleans, La., FOX
Jan. 4: Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Glendale, Ariz., FOX
Jan. 5: FedEx Orange Bowl - Miami Gardens, Fla., FOX
Jan. 7: BCS National Championship - Pasadena, Calif., ABC

Founded in 1947 with leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & 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 young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, Play It Smart, and scholarships of over $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Trophy, the Draddy Trophy, presented by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings.

For more information, please visit us on the web at