Tressel, Snyder selected to College Football Hall of Fame
DALLAS (AP) — Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and Kansas State coach Bill Snyder have been selected for induction to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams of Texas and Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth were also selected to the latest Hall of Fame class of 15 players and two coaches announced Friday by the National Football Foundation.
Tressel was nominated by Youngstown State, where he won four Division I-AA national titles and is now the president of the university. His greatest fame, however, came at Ohio State, where he was 106-22 in 10 seasons, including a national championship in 2002. Twelve victories from the 2010 season were vacated by the NCAA because of rules violations by Tressel and Ohio State players.
He was forced to resign after the 2010 season after he withheld information from the school and NCAA about possible violations by some of his players, who traded memorabilia and equipment for tattoos. The NCAA imposed a five-year show cause order on Tressel that would open up a school to possible sanctions if it hired him as a coach. That order ends September 2016.
“I am forever indebted to the outstanding student-athletes and coaches that have made this moment possible,” Tressel said in a statement released through Youngstown State, where he is now the university president.
Tressel’s father, who went 155-52-6 at Baldwin-Wallace from 1958-73, was inducted in 1996
“To join the same hall of fame that my father, Dr. Lee J. Tressel, is already a member, is so, so meaningful,” Tressel said.
Tressel also coached 15 seasons at Youngstown State, winning four Division I-AA national titles. He is the only coach to win national championship at both levels of Division I. He was named president of Youngstown State on May 9, 2014.
Snyder orchestrated one of the greatest turnarounds in college football history at Kansas State, which had lost more football games than any program when he took over in 1989.
He turned the Wildcats into a Big 12 power and a national title contender with seven double-digit victory seasons in a span of nine years.
He retired after the 2005 season, but returned in 2009 and has not had a losing season since. In 23 seasons with Kansas State, Snyder is 187-94-1. He was eligible for induction while still active because he turned 75 last year.
Kansas State finished 9-4 this season, wrapping up with 40-35 Alamo Bowl loss to UCLA.
“I’m awfully grateful that the voting took place before the bowl game,” Snyder said, humbly.
Williams won the Heisman in 1998 and left Texas as the leading career rusher in FBS with 6,279 yards. He currently ranks second behind Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne.
Bosworth was a two-time Butkus Award winner (1985 and 1986) as the nation’s best linebacker, helping the Sooners win three straight Big Eight titles and the 1985 national title.
At a news conference Friday with Snyder and fellow inductees Lincoln Kennedy of Washington and Bob Breunig of Arizona State, Bosworth said he was overwhelmed when he found out he had been elected.
“The honor itself to be inducted into the great Hall of Fame for college football, to be included into a fraternity that shows the players, all the years that they played, the passion that the played, it took my breath away,” Bosworth said.
Bosworth was also one of the most controversial characters in college football history. He billed himself as The Boz, wore his hair in Mohawk style and was an outspoken critic of the NCAA.
He was suspended from what would have been his last college game — the 1987 Orange Bowl — for failing a test for performance-enhancing drugs. Standing on the sideline during that game against Arkansas in Miami, Bosworth wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “National Communists Against Athletes.”
He later co-authored a tell-all book that accused Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer of running a program plagued by drug use and misbehavior by players.
The other players selected by the NFF to the Hall of Fame were:
— Nebraska linebacker Trev Alberts
— Millsaps defensive end Sean Brewer from Division III
— Pittsburgh offensive tackle Ruben Brown
— Florida split end Wes Chandler
— Notre Dame split end Thom Gatewood
— Yale running back Dick Jauron
— Michigan state halfback Clinton Jones
— Michigan running back Rob Lytle
— Marshall quarterback Michael Payton
— Texas Tech linebacker Zach Thomas
— Kentucky defensive lineman Art Still
The last Hall of Fame class will be inducted Dec. 8 at the NFF’s awards dinner in New York.