earned the title “Hall of Famer” on the football field and now he’ll earn another title, this time from the academic field. Little will receive an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters from Syracuse University and will officially become a doctor.
“There’s been some great things that’s happened to me in my life. Nothing exceeds the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This is right behind it. Being a Pro Football Hall of Famer is the ultimate goal of achievement. Getting an honorary doctorate is right behind that,” explained Little.
It was a unanimous decision by the board to award Little with an Honorary Doctorate Degree. According to Syracuse’s chancellor, Kent Syverud, it was the first time in the school’s history that the board voted unanimously.
Shortly after the decision was made, Syverud called Little to inform him of the good news. Syverud told him on the phone that he deserves to be a doctor and then proceeded to thank him for his service to the university.
“You don’t realize the impact you have on others…It’s just unbelievable,” said Little.
The former Broncos running back will be sitting front row during Syracuse’s commencement ceremony on May 13 in the Carrier Dome. His family, including his son, daughter and grandkids, will be in the audience cheering him on as he walks across the stage to pick up his degree.
“This is huge for me and my family to think that I would be honored with a degree from the university that I went to and came back to,” shared Floyd.
Little recognized that the lessons and values he learned from playing the game helped him succeed in a career after football. He then recalled a conversation he had with Jim Saccomano, the Denver Broncos former corporate vice president of Corporate communications, after he retired from playing football. Little mentioned that Saccomano told him that life doesn’t end after football and he’ll go on to do great things before it’s all over.
“It just shows proof that you can do more than you think you can if you put your mind to it,” Little proudly exclaimed.
Little currently serves as the Special Assistant to the Athletics Director at Syracuse University.
He was a three-time All-America running back at Syracuse and was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round, sixth player overall, in the 1967 AFL-NFL Draft. Making him so appealing to the Broncos was the versatility he demonstrated at the collegiate level during his years with the Orangemen. Little was named to two AFL All-Star Games and three AFC-NFC Pro Bowls. He was also named All-AFL/NFL twice and All-AFC first- or second-team four straight years.
In all, Little amassed more than 12,000 all-purpose yards and scored 54 touchdowns during his career that spanned from 1967 to 1975. He gained 6,323 yards on 1,641 career carries and scored 43 touchdowns. He added 215 receptions for 2,418 yards and 9 TDs. Little totaled 893 yards on 81 career punt returns and a pair of scores; and returned 104 kickoffs for 2,523 yards in his nine-season career.
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