Cook on NFF Hall of Fame Ballot
Feb. 29, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Former University of Iowa tight end and NFL All-Pro Marv Cook is one of 76 former players and eight coaches who comprise the 2012 Football Bowl Subdivision Ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Cook, a native of West Branch, was a consensus first team All-American in 1988, his senior year at the UI. A two-time first team all-Big Ten selection and a member of the Hawkeyes' Big Ten Conference championship team, Cook is one of only 18 players to have more than 100 receptions in his career and he holds the school record for catches by a tight end (126 for 1,825 yards and six touchdowns.
Cook was the first of four Hawkeyes selected in the 1989 NFL Draft. He was chosen in the third round by the New England Patriots Cook played five season with Patriots, earning All-Pro honors in 1991 and '92. He also played for the Chicago Bears (1994) and St. Louis Rams (1995)
"Having a ballot and a voice in the selection of the inductees is one of the most cherished NFF member benefits," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee from Ole Miss. "There is no group more knowledgeable or passionate about college football than our membership, and the tradition of the ballot helps us engage them in the lofty responsibility of selecting those who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in our sport."
The ballot was 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 14-member NFF Honors Court includes an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletics directors, conference commissioners, Hall of Famers and members of the media.
"It's an enormous honor to just be on the ballot when you think that more than 4.86 million people have played college football," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell.
"The Hall's requirement of being a First Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of only 1,900 individuals who are even eligible to be on the ballot, so being in today's group of 76 names means an individual is truly among the greatest to ever have played the game, and we are proud to announce their names today."
The FBS Hall of Fame Class will be announced live in New York City during a noon press conference on May 15 and inducted at the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 4 at the landmark Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
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. If a coach is retired and over the age of 70, there is no waiting period. If he is over the age of 75, he is eligible as an active coach. 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 school's geographic location, which conducts a vote to determine who will appear on the ballot and represent their respective districts. Each year, approximately 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 Veterans Committee may make recommendations to Honors Court for exceptions that allow for the induction of players who played more than 50 years ago.
Of the 4.86 million individuals who have played college football since Princeton first battled Rutgers on November 6, 1869, only 900 players have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, or less than .0002 percent of those who have played the game during the past 143 years. From the coaching ranks, 194 individuals have achieved Hall of Fame distinction.