Former Syracuse football star Marvin Harrison is a candidate for the College Football Hall of Fame. But why the heck did it take so long?
The Syracuse football squad has had a very rich history with eight Pro Football Hall of Famers and has had countless College Hall of Famers.
While one of the best receivers in the history of the game is easily Marvin Harrison. He was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, class of 2016.
But for one reason or another he isn’t in the College Football Hall of Fame? Why is that?
I wanted to make sure to double check the criteria to see how long Harrison has been eligible and investigate this topic in more detail, (via the CFB Hall of Fame Website):
- A player becomes eligible for consideration 10 years after his last year of college football played, which for Harrison was 1996, so he was first eligible in 2006.
- A player must have received first team All-America recognition, which Harrison did back in 1995 at Syracuse.
- Also according to the site, you have a 50 year window of eligibility, which means if you don’t get into the hall in 50 years, you’ll never get in.
- Another somewhat obvious point, but still a point nonetheless is the athlete must have wrapped up his professional career before he can be elected to the hall of fame. Which for Harrison was 2008. He wrapped up a 13-year career all with the Indianapolis Colts.
It’s also important to note that the College Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame are different with their rules. In the pros, you have to wait five years after your final year to even become eligible for Canton, Ohio. That same mandate isn’t required in the world of college football.
So Harrison has waited a decade and hasn’t heard the call, very strange. Although when you consider this stat, it’s a huge honor to even be considered:
"“Only 0.02% of college football’s players and coaches can claim the honor of being named into the Hall of Fame”, via the CFB Hall of Fame official website."
The NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell spoke about the difficulty of making it into this elite class via the Syracuse Press Release:
"“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the ballot when you think that more than 5.26 million people have played college football and only 997 players have been inducted,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The requirement of being a first-team All-American creates a much smaller pool of about 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. Being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game, and those actually elected to the class will be part of a momentous year as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of college football in 2019.”"
While I get it, not a lot of people have made it and it’s an elite club, so is the PFHOF. I mean let’s delve into the stats a little bit here.
"“A star for the Orange from 1992-95, Harrison was a three-time All-BIG EAST selection and led the league in receiving twice. In addition, he was named 1995 BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year and garnered first-team All-America honors from both the Football Writers Association of America and Sporting News that season as a punt returner.Harrison put together one of the finest individual campaigns in program history as a senior in 1995. He caught 56 passes for a then school-record 1,131 yards and eight touchdowns. He also averaged a BIG EAST-best 16.8 yards per punt return, running back 22 punts for 369 yards and two scores.Harrison finished his Syracuse career with 135 receptions for 2,728 yards and 20 touchdowns. His career receiving yardage total stood as the program record for more than two decades before it was broken by Steve Ishmael (2,891) in 2017.”"
If that isn’t worthy of the College Football Hall of Fame, I’m not sure what is. The only real legitimate reason for being left out of the conversation is the weird Philadelphia gun incident.
Not many people even talk about the story anymore. But Harrison was once almost charged with attempted murder, per DeadSpin. That may explain why Harrison waited so long on the pro level, maybe that’s the same story for college.