Hall of Fame Criteria for Entry
The Board consists of one media representative from each pro football city with two from New York, inasmuch as that city has two teams in the National Football League. A 31st member is a representative of the Pro Football Writers of America and there are five at-large delegates.
With the exception of the PFWA representative who is appointed for a two-year term, all appointments are of the open-end variety and can be terminated only by retirement or resignation, as long as the member continues to attend meetings regularly.
The board of Selectors meets annually at the time of the Super Bowl to elect new members. There is no set number for any class of enshrinees but, the Board’s current ground rules do stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. The 1973 and 1976 classes of three were the smallest ever named.
Every candidate is carefully scrutinized and must receive at least 80 percent approval of the Board at the annual meeting before he can be elected. A scale of negative votes for elimination that will vary depending on the number of Selectors in attendance is used.
When the Selectors meet next January to name the Class of 2000, they will have before them a roster of 15 final candidates, along with detailed biographies on each. To assure that older players will be considered along with the younger breed, the Seniors Committee made up of five veteran members of the overall Selection Committee will name one nominee from pre-1974 era to be included on the final list.
The other finalists will be the survivors from a preliminary list of some 60 to 70 candidates that the Board will have screened by mail ballot. That original list will have been in part provided by the fans themselves.
Any fan may nominate any qualified person who has been connected with pro football in any capacity simply by writing the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The only restriction is that a player must have been retired at least five years before he can be considered. For example, a candidate for the 1999 class must have concluded his career not later than the 1993 season.
For a non-player, there is no mandatory retirement period, but a coach must be retired before he may be considered. Every nomination received will be processed and forwarded to the Board of Selectors.
It is important to emphasize that the Hall of Fame itself has no say whatsoever as to who is or is not elected to membership. The only function of the staff is to process the nominations as they arrive and to coordinate the annual meeting.
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