IRVING, Texas (Oct. 3, 2022) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame today announced the formation of the NFF Education Committee, which will study and make recommendations on new initiatives to increase educational opportunities and graduation rates for those who play high school and college football.
“Since the launch of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards in 1959, the NFF has remained in the vanguard of promoting the scholar-athlete ideal with more than half dozen programs currently in place, but we can do more,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “Subsequently, we are establishing a committee today to study and then promote the best strategies and tactics employed by colleges and universities around the country, which reinforce our belief that excellence on the field and in the classroom are deeply intertwined.”
NFF Board Member Ronnie Lott, a highly successful businessman and an inductee into both the pro and college football halls of fame, will chair the committee. Additional members of the committee will include past NFF National Scholar-Athletes, athletics directors, faculty athletic representatives, coaches, academic support services personnel, NFF Board Members and other individuals involved with the on-and-off-field development of student-athletes.
“Football has created an infinite number of opportunities for those who play our sport, and many of us, and especially me, credit our successes to the game and the educational doors it opened for us,” said Lott. “The value of graduating from high school and college has always produced life-long benefits, and this new committee will allow the NFF to pursue new initiatives and ideas on how we all can play a greater role. These are things we have to explore to get better!”
“The football landscape is going through a generational shift at the moment, and the NFF is in a unique position to bring colleges and universities together nationwide across all divisions and all levels of play,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “We are looking forward to tapping some of our nation’s top minds on how we can further foster the connections between academic and athletic excellence. By identifying and promoting the best strategies and tactics, we hope to create a valuable discussion on how we can improve graduation rates and educational opportunities for those who play football.”
The NFF currently distributes more than $1.3 million each year in scholarships, including $300,000 at the national level and more than $1 million through its chapter network at the grassroots level.
NFF Scholar-Athlete Programs and Timeline
NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards Presented by Fidelity Investments®
The NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards Presented by Fidelity Investments were established in 1959 as the first initiative in history to honor scholar-athletes with postgraduate scholarships for their combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities. The program has awarded $12.1 million to 891 top athletes since its inception, and it currently distributes around $300,000 each year.
The William V. Campbell Trophy®
Named in honor of the late William V. Campbell, the former chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal, The William V. Campbell Trophy® has become the most prestigious and desirable “academic” award in college football. The trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership. The prestigious and historic New York Athletic Club serves as the official home for the trophy.
Hampshire Honor Society
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society is chosen annually and comprised of college football players from all divisions of the NCAA, NAIA and sprint football who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers. The initiative has honored 14,655 student-athletes since its inception.
NFF® National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association
The NFF Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association provides a powerful vehicle for past honorees to remain in the vanguard of the NFF’s current efforts through donations. This group of past NFF National Scholar-Athletes has stepped forward to give back and support future generations.
NFF Faculty Salutes, Presented by Fidelity Investments®
Launched in 2011 by Fidelity Investments and the NFF, the NFF Faculty Salutes are an extension of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards Program that provides postgraduate scholarships for college football’s elite student-athletes. As part of the program, each school with a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments receives recognition for their faculty athletics representative, and a $5,000 donation per school from Fidelity is made to support the academic support services for student-athletes at each school. The salutes have recognized 152 FARs since the program’s inception, and Fidelity has made a total of $755,000 in donations.
NFF Leadership Hall of Fame
The National Football Foundation launched the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame in 2013 as a powerful new vehicle for recognizing the country’s most influential individuals who have ascended to the highest levels of success; exhibited the critical leadership qualities that transcend ordinary enterprises; touched the lives of their fellow workers and countrymen; and established the high standards for the young people of our nation to emulate. The NFF Leadership Hall of Fame has helped raise and distribute millions of dollars for the NFF scholarship programs.
Campbell Trophy® Summit, Proudly Sponsored by Intuit
The Campbell Trophy® Summit, proudly sponsored by Intuit, is a three-day event at Stanford University, which provides all past nominees for the award a powerful opportunity to interact and learn from many of the nation’s top entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley CEOs about the lessons that have guided them to highest levels of success.
NFF High School Team of Distinction
The NFF Team of Distinction honors the top high school scholar-athletes from around the country and the NFF Chapter Network as the best and the brightest at the local level. Each chapter is only allowed one nomination per year. The members are recognized for their academic, football and community accomplishments during their high school careers.
NFF National High School Academic Excellence Awards
The NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award represents the first nationwide recognition honoring individual high school football teams for excellence in the classroom. The NFF announced the creation of the award in February 2021 in partnership with 35 state high school coaches associations. The initiative is designed to inspire and foster a culture of academic excellence on high school football teams throughout the nation. The top team in the nation receives the Hatchell Cup, named for NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell.
About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters in 47 states, NFF programs include the selection and induction of members of the College Football Hall of Fame; the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta; Future For Football; The William V. Campbell Trophy®; the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments; the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award; and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Catapult, Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Jostens, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the New York Athletic Club, the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation and the Sports Business Journal. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NFFNetwork and learn more at footballfoundation.org.