Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Rule keeps Frazier, Pace out of HOF class
By Brian Bennett
Had colleague Ivan Maisel not spelled out a little-known rule about the College Football Hall of Fame's induction procedures, there would likely be some righteous outrage in Lincoln, Neb., and Columbus, Ohio, today.
Maisel wrote this morning that the Hall has a rule preventing the selection of players from the same school in back-to-back years. That must have been the only thing keeping Nebraska's Tommie Frazier and Ohio State's Orlando Pace from being elected this year.
Frazier is simply one of the greatest college football players of all time, leading the Cornhuskers to two national titles. Pace is the only player ever to win the Lombardi Award twice as one of the best offensive linemen in the history of the sport.
But Nebraska and Ohio State both had inductees last year in Will Shields and Eddie George, respectively. So it was no dice for Frazier and Pace. What makes no sense, though, is that both players were on the ballot for induction this year, even though they apparently weren't eligible.
Sometimes it's an honor just to be nominated. But in the case of these two legends, it will be a miscarriage of justice if they're not enshrined. Certainly, you can't say that Syracuse's Art Monk -- who had 102 catches in his college career and never more than 40 in a season for the Orange -- is more deserving than Pace or Frazier when it comes to college achievements.
The rule does not seem necessary, given how many great players come from major schools. But the voters should do the right thing and elect Frazier and Pace next year -- unanimously.