The Haggar Gold Jacket Report is a weekly update on recent news surrounding the very select group of men who’ve earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Black College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday announced its Class of 2013. The newest members were selected from a list of 35 finalists and included six Pro Football Hall of Famers. ELVIN BETHEA, KEN HOUSTON, CHARLIE JOINER, LARRY LITTLE, SHANNON SHARPE and JACKIE SLATER were chosen by the Black College Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee comprised of journalists and former football executives from around the country. This elite group of pioneers, along with five other enshrinees, has significantly impacted college football.
The inductees will be honored Feb. 16, 2013 at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta, Ga. at the Black College Football Hall of Fame's Fourth Annual Enshrinement Ceremony presented by the Atlanta Falcons. The NFL Network's Steve Wyche will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the Enshrinement Ceremony.
Hall of Fame linebacker NICK BUONICONTI and one of his Miami Dolphins teammates, Hall of Fame quarterback BOB GRIESE took time out of their busy schedules to honor two of the ten finalists for the U.S. Army – Pro Football Hall of Fame – Award for Excellence. The program, which was originally announced by Pro Football Hall of Famer SHANNON SHARPE at the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, highlights the achievements of student athletes across the country.
"The Pro Football Hall of Fame is proud to continue its mission to educate and promote the excellence that comes with America's favorite game, football, and combine it with the U.S. Army's mission of excellence in school, community service and through athletics,” said George Veras, president and CEO, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises. “We are excited to recognize these ten student-athletes for their outstanding achievements and hard work.”
Buoniconti presented the finalist award to Ben Carpenter at King High School in Tampa, Fla. in front of family, classmates, friends, faculty and staff on Wednesday, Nov. 7.
It’s really an interesting and mind blowing experience to be honest with you. I didn’t think it would happen,” said Carpenter.
Ben is confined to a wheelchair because of spinal muscular atrophy and his accomplishments have inspired Buoniconti. “I look at Ben and I look at my own son and I think of all the things that they’ve accomplished. They’ve never let the wheelchair be a barrier, they let it be an incentive for them to go on to do better things.”
The very next day, Griese arrived at Okeechobee, Fla. to honor Brendon Jonassaint at Okeechobee High School on Nov. 8.
"Athletes and Army Strong Soldiers possess a unique and similar set of strengths," said John Myers, Director of Marketing U.S. Army Marketing and Research Group. "We are excited to partner with the Pro Football Hall of Fame and to recognize these outstanding student-athletes; athletes who excel in their area of sport and who also excel academically. The most important attribute is that they are upstanding members of their communities. We look forward to joining with the ten finalists in San Antonio in January and celebrating their achievements."
The ten finalists for the Award for Excellence will also travel to the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and participate in various activities throughout the end of the year. The winner of the Award for Excellence will be announced during the Bowl's formal Awards Dinner on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013.
Links Related to this story:
HOF Bios: Elvin Bethea | Nick Buoniconti | Bob Griese | Ken Houston | Charlie Joiner | Larry Little | Shannon Sharpe | Jackie Slater
More: African American pioneers in pro football | Miami Dolphins team history
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