Apparently, Tommie Frazier will have to buy a ticket if he wants to get into college football’s Hall of Fame. The 2012 class was announced this week, and Frazier was not one of the 14 players selected for that honor. Frazier’s snub is as ridiculous this year as it was last year.
Ahead of Frazier on the Hall of Fame’s list were such notables as Greg Myers (defensive back, Colorado State, 1992-1995) and Mark Simoneau (linebacker, Kansas State, 1992-1995). And, look, both Myers and Simoneau were great players. But neither of them were players of Tommie Frazier’s status or accomplishment. And I picked Myers and Simoneau because they were either contemporaries of or played after Frazier worked his magic for Nebraska.
So, the Hall of Fame can’t fall back on omitting Frazier because there were players waiting longer than the 17 years Frazier has for his Hall of Fame selection. If that’s not the reason for Frazier’s omission, then what is?
According to Ivan Maisel of ESPN.com, the Hall of Fame has “a rule against taking players from the same school in consecutive years.” Will Shields was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2011, so according to this no-consecutive-years rule, Frazier would have been ineligible in 2012. Except he was eligible, according to the website of the National Football Foundation, the organization that runs the Hall of Fame. Frazier was number 27 on the list of 76 eligible players, which included Eric Crouch and Trev Alberts.
So Frazier, along with Crouch and Alberts, were clearly eligible according to the NFF’s own criteria. But apparently there are unwritten rules the voters abide by, and this no-consecutive-years rule is one of them. Right?
Actually, it’s worse than that. Corn Nation pointed out what makes the process even sillier and more ridiculous than it seems at first blush. All of those ballots that go out, and all of those votes that are cast for the Hall of Fame class, don’t decide who goes into the Hall of Fame. Here’s the rule, straight from the NFF:
The ballot of players and coaches is mailed to all dues-paying members for a member vote, of which results are provided to the Honors Court as part of the information for its meeting. The Honors Court selects the Class. (emphasis added)
Mind-boggling. So the NFF will release a list of eligible players, except some of them aren’t really eligible. That list goes to voters who will cast ballots, except those ballots don’t really decide anything.
And, as a result, we have a Hall of Fame class that is honoring Greg Myers, Mark Simoneau and Steve Bartkowski, and excluding Tommie Frazier, Orlando Pace and Derrick Thomas. And that's not even getting into the argument about Howard Schnellenberger being excluded because of an arbitrary win percentage requirement that his time at Florida Atlantic messed up.
Someone explain to me why this particular Hall of Fame has any credibility left, please.
What seems unassailable, though, is that a quarterback who went 33-2 for his career, won two national titles, four conference titles, ran for 2,154 yards, threw for 3,626 yards, and scored 82 (!) touchdowns is Hall of Fame worthy. No disrespect to Myers and Simoneau, but a Hall of Fame without Frazier, and without players like Pace and Thomas, is simply a joke.
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