Hall Of Fame's Board Of Trustees Approves Changes To Selection Process Bylaws

CANTON, OHIO – The Board of Trustees at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Thursday approved several changes to the Bylaws governing the selection of Hall of Fame enshrinees.

Among the most notable revisions: Hall of Fame voters over the next three election cycles will consider three Seniors Finalists for enshrinement each year, effective with the Class of 2023, Class of 2024 and Class of 2025.

With this change, the maximum class size each of those three years could be nine individuals.

The move to enlarge the number of Senior Finalists for the next three years reflects the Hall’s desire to assure that all worthy candidates receive an opportunity for Hall of Fame consideration. After a thorough review of the existing Selection Committee Bylaws by Hall of Fame staff, the Hall’s Board of Trustees and the Hall of Fame Selection Committee, it was determined the now-approved changes would provide a more comprehensive examination of the backlog of eligible Seniors – players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago – and potentially increase the number of worthy candidates elected during this three-year period.

Through another change in the Bylaws, 12 Seniors will reach the Semifinalists stage of the election process after two reduction votes. Each of these 12 candidates will be “presented” to the Seniors Committee – meaning the careers of more players will be discussed at greater length than in the past selection meetings.

“Members of the Selection Committee have made it clear they wanted to get more Seniors ‘in the room’ for discussion,” said Jim Porter, President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “From those initial conversations, the team at the Hall of Fame overseeing the Selection Process worked with the Board to create a path for those committee discussions that could lead to possible enshrinement for more Seniors.”

The changes in the Bylaws don’t guarantee three Seniors will be elected over any of the next three years, but it does give the Selection Committee the opportunity to elect more of the eligible Seniors awaiting consideration for enshrinement.

In conjunction with the change in the Seniors category, the Hall of Fame’s Board of Trustees approved a change in the Selection Committee Bylaws covering the next three election cycles that merges the candidates from the Coaches category and the Contributor category. One Finalist will be eligible for election from this combined group in the Classes of 2023, 2024 and 2025.

The Bylaws also were modified so that the reduction voting process for Seniors nominees and the Coach or Contributor nominee will be expanded to mirror the multi-step process used to determine the Modern-Era Player Finalists. This, in addition to expanding both the Seniors and the Coach/Contributor Committees from nine to 12 members each, further will assure a more thorough examination, presentation and debate on potential candidates.

No changes were made in the process of choosing Modern-Era Players – those whose careers ended between five and 25 years prior to the election year – for potential enshrinement.

With the revisions to the Bylaws, the Classes of 2023, 2024 and 2025 potentially could be comprised of nine individuals: up to five Modern-Era Players, up to three Seniors and up to one Coach or Contributor.

The Hall of Fame’s Board of Trustees reviews and approves Bylaws for the Selection Committee annually.