HOF Board of Trustees Approves Modifications to HOF Selection Process

08/11/2003

 

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustees has approved several modifications to the Hall of Fame’s By-Laws for the Selection Committee.  The changes, which were approved at the Board’s annual meeting, held on August 2, in Canton, include a reduction in the minimum and maximum number of candidates elected annually as well as an increase from one to two, the number of senior nominees to be included among the 15 finalists list for election. 

"The Hall of Fame Board of Trustees is confident that the approved modifications to our selection system are consistent with our commitment to the belief that election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame is an exclusive honor, bestowed upon only the most deserving of candidates,” said John Muhlbach, Jr., the Hall of Fame’s Chairman of the Board.  “While we feel strongly that election to the Hall of Fame should remain a challenging journey, we also believe that the system must guard against qualified candidates from past eras being overlooked.  These new provisions will do much to accomplish both these goals."

 

 

Changes to the By-Laws include:

  EXTENDING OF THE LENGTH OF TIME A NOMINEE IS CONSIDERED A MODERN-ERA CANDIDATE

Old Provision 

A modern-era candidate becomes a senior nominee when his “active career has been completed by a percentage of 70% for at least 25 years.”   Using this formula, a 15-year NFL veteran, whose last active season was 1978, would be considered a modern-era candidate until the meeting to select the Class of 1999.

New Provision

A modern-era candidate becomes a senior nominee after his “active career has been completed for at least 25 years.”   Under this new provision, an NFL veteran whose last active season was 1978 would remain a modern-era candidate until the meeting to select the Class of 2003.

Result

A nominee will remain a modern-era candidate longer under the new provision.

 A REDUCTION IN THE MAXIMUM/MINIMUM NUMBER OF NOMINEES ELECTED ANNUALLY

Old Provision

The un-amended By-Laws state, “Director shall cause to be conducted annually an election by the Selection Committee to choose not fewer than four nor more than six Modern-Era nominees to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and to consider for induction one senior nominee.”

New Provision

“The Director shall cause to be conducted annually an election by the Selection Committee to choose not fewer than three nor more than six nominees to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.”

Result

This change increases the exclusive nature of election and further assures that only the most deserving of candidates are elected to the Hall of Fame. 

  AN ADDITIONAL REDUCTION VOTE OF THE PRELIMINARY LIST OF NOMINEES

Old Provision

The un-amended By-Laws provided in part that the Board of Selectors would be polled twice before the Final List of Preliminary Nominees was determined.  The un-amended By-Laws further stated “The Final Preliminary List shall be distributed to the Selectors during the last week in October for the purpose of the selection of fourteen Modern-Era nominees who will become finalists for election at the January annual selection meeting.” 

New Provision

The amended By-Laws now provide that the Board of Selectors will be polled three times before the final List of Preliminary Nominees is determined.  It is further provided that “The Third Preliminary List shall be distributed to the Selectors during the month of October for the purpose of the selection of twenty-five Modern-Era Nominees who will become semi-finalists for election.”

The amended By-Laws further stipulates “The Final Preliminary List shall be distributed to the Selectors during the month of November for the purpose ofthe selection of thirteen Modern-Era Nominees who will become finalists for electionat the January annual selection meeting.”  

Result

This change will provide the Hall of Fame Selectors an additional opportunity to thoroughly consider the large number of preliminary nominees presented each year.  Allowing for an additional reduction vote to 25 nominees will allow the selectors to better focus in on the candidates receiving the most support before reducing that list to the final list of modern-era candidates.

  AN INCREASE FROM ONE TO TWO THE NUMBER OF SENIOR CANDIDATE NOMINEESINCLUDED ON THE ANNUAL 15 FINALISTS LIST

Old Provision

The un-amended By-Laws stipulated, “One Senior Nominee shall be chosen at a meeting in Canton, Ohio by the Seniors Committee.”  The By-Laws also provided that at the annual meeting the report of the Seniors Committee was presented and discussed as the first order of business followed immediately by a yes or no vote on the candidate.

New Provision

The amended By-Laws stipulates “Two Senior Nominees shall be chosen at a meeting in Canton, Ohio by the Seniors Committee.”   Deleted from the By-Laws is “The report of the Seniors Committee will be received and discussed and then an election will be conducted with respect to the Seniors’ nominee by the use of a yes or no ballot.”  The By-Laws now provide that the two senior nominees and 13 modern-era nominees will be considered on an equal basis throughout the remaining reduction votes. 

Result

The change increases from one to two the number of senior nominees to be included annually on the list of 15 finalists.  The Hall of Fame Trustees base the change upon the belief that, at present, there are a significant number of candidates in the senior category deserving of serious consideration.    

  THE ELIMINATION OF THE PROVISION THAT CALLS FOR FINALIST NOMINEES WHO FINISHED AMONG THE FINAL SIX BUT WERE NOT ELECTED TO AUTOMATICALLY QUALIFY AS MODERN-ERA FINALIST NOMINEES THE SUCCEEDING YEAR

Old Provision

The un-amended By-Laws provided that “The previous year’s finalist nominees who finished among the final six but were not elected qualify as Modern-Era finalist nominees for the succeeding year’s election.”

New Provision

The amended By-Laws calls for a deletion of the provision cited above.  This change, however, will not be made affective until 2004 since two candidates from the list of 2003 finalists did advance to the final six without being elected, and prior to the change in the By-Laws, were announced as automatic finalists for Class of 2004.  This change will eliminate the potential problem that a nominee advancing to the final six in one year may in fact have less support than new a candidate the following year that may not have made the final list of nominees due to lack of space.  

Result

This change will eliminate the potential problem that a nominee advancing to the final six in one year may in fact have less support than new a candidate the following year that may not have made the final list of nominees due to lack of space.  

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