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College Football Hall of Fame side entrance.
Blocking activity cage.

The College Football Hall of Fame, located in South Bend, Indianamarker, USA, is a hall of fame and museum devoted to college football. It is situated in the renovated downtown district, near convention centers and not far from the campus of Notre Damemarker. It is slated to move to Atlanta, GAmarker in the near future, after its lease expires at its current facility on December 31, 2010.

The College Football Hall of Fame was established in 1951 by the National Football Foundation (NFF), which oversees the support, administration and operation of the College Football Hall of Fame.


The current building was constructed in 1995. Sam Jones of The Troyer Group was the lead architect and a graduate of Notre Dame. The museum hall, located on the underground level, features memorials and memorabilia of great American football players and coaches of the past. A 14-minute video in the museum's Stadium Theater highlights the "thrills and pageantry" of college football. Interactive areas allow visitors to test their own speed, agility, and punt, pass and block skills. Video monitors replay historical games and plays. Busts of coaches and players enshrined in the Hall of Fame are located throughout the museum. The entrance-level floor features a gift shop and restaurant, as well as murals featuring hall-of-famers and significant moments in the history of college football. The exterior of the building features a artificial turf space, named the Gridiron Plaza, that can be rented to host outdoor events.

Prior to moving to its current location, the College Football Hall of Fame was located adjacent to Kings Islandmarker in Kings Mills, Ohiomarker, near Cincinnatimarker.


Despite estimates that the South Bend location would attract more than 150,000 visitors a year, the Hall of Fame drew about 115,000 people the first year (1995) and about 60,000 annually after that. As a result, in September 2009, the Hall of Fame announced it would be moving to Atlanta, GAmarker. The possibility of moving the museum has been brought up in other cities, including Dallas, TXmarker — which had the financial backing of billionaire T. Boone Pickens. The museum will be located near Centennial Olympic Parkmarker near other attractions such as the Georgia Aquariummarker, the World of Coca-Colamarker, CNN Centermarker and the anticipated Center for Human and Civil Rights. Plans for a health museum also have been announced.

Original plans called for the Hall of Fame to be located at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, location of the first contest under rules now considered to be those of modern football, between Rutgers and Princeton University (won by Rutgers, 6-4). Rutgers donated land near its football stadium, office space, administrative support, etc. After years of collecting donations for the construction of the building with ground not having been broken and no plans to do so, the New Jersey Attorney General began an investigation of the finances of the Hall of Fame Foundation.

In response the Foundation moved its operations to New York City where it continued to collect donations for several years with nothing to show for it. When the New York Attorney General's Office began its own investigation the foundation moved to Ohio, where a building finally was constructed.

By the numbers

, there are 829 players enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame, representing 186 institutions. Additionally, 178 coaches have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The following institutions have had the greatest number of players inducted:

Institution # Last inductee
Notre Dame 43 2009
Michigan 29 2007
Southern California 28 2007
Ohio State 26 2008
Army 24 2004
Oklahoma 22 2007
Minnesota 21 2009
21 2002
21 2007
Penn State 20 2005
Tennessee 20 2006
Navy 19 2002
Alabama 18 2009
18 2001
Pittsburgh 18 2005
16 1983
Stanford 16 2006
California 15 2004
Nebraska 13 2006

Criteria for induction

The National Football Foundation outlines specific criteria that may be used for evaluating a possible candidate for induction into the Hall of Fame. NFF members and the coaches, athletic directors, and sports information officials representing member schools may submit nominations for consideration. Nominees with the highest votes received from one of the eight District Screening Committees (DSC) located closest to the nominee's college or university are included on that year's ballot, which is distributed to all NFF dues-paying members. The selection of Hall of Fame inductees, however, ultimately is determined by the Foundation's Honor Court.

Criteria for player nominees

  1. The nominee must have been selected to the first team of one or more major college football All-America teams.
  2. The nomination must be submitted no earlier than ten years since the last year the nominee played intercollegiate football.
  3. The nominee must exhibit demonstrated citizenship, "carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man with love of his country." Academic honors may also be considered.
  4. The nominee must have played intercollegiate football no more than fifty years ago (although exceptions may be granted after review by the appropriate NFF committees).
  5. The nominee must have ended his professional athletic career prior to the time of the nomination.

Criteria for coach nominees

  1. The nominee must exhibit demonstrated citizenship, "carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man with love of his country."
  2. The nominee must fit one of the following criteria:
    1. Be retired from coaching for at least three years
    2. Be at least 70 years old and retired
    3. Be at least 75 years old
  3. The nominee must have held a head coaching position at the collegiate level for at least ten years.
  4. The nominee must hold at least a .600 career record over the course of 100 games or more.

See also


  1. Hall moving from South Bend to Atlanta, Associated Press, September 23, 2009, Accessed September 23, 2009.
  2. "College Football Hall of Fame: Tour the Hall." National Football Foundation.
  3. "College Football Hall of Fame: Procedure Guide and Criteria." National Football Foundation.

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