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Atlanta’s College Football Hall of Fame Shapes Up

Retired Stars Honored at Enshrinement Gala

By A. Scott Walton Executive Editor | 8/30/2013, 2:58 p.m.
Former college and NFL star offensive lineman Art Shell (center) elicits laughter during his induction into Atlanta’s College Football Hall of Fame at the Omni Hotel.

Atlanta took more strides toward solidifying its reputation as the nation’s college football capitol this week when the College Football Hall of Fame enshrined 24 more former players and coaches in a ceremony broadcasted live by ESPN from the Omni Hotel downtown.

The Hall of Fame event added to the hype for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game pitting No. 1 Alabama against Virginia Tech, which ESPN will air live from the Georgia Dome on Saturday (5:30 p.m.).

A new, 94,000-square foot College Football Hall of Fame is being constructed downtown near CNN Center to replace the one located in South Bend, Ind. for decades. The attraction’s directors say the city of Atlanta contributed $1 million to the $66.5 million project and the rest of the funding came from private investors and corporations. It is projected to attract 500,000 visitors per year.

“We have made strong headway on building the new Hall,” said Atlanta Hall Management president and CEO John Stephenson, “and this special event (provides) the perfect opportunity to showcase our plans for the new facility while honoring some of the game’s greats.”

The new structure is scheduled to open in time for the 2014 Kickoff Game.

The former college players and coaches inducted as members of the 2013 College Football Hall of Fame enshrinement class include: Charles Alexander (LSU), Otis Armstrong (Purdue), Steve Bartkowski (California), Hal Bedsole (Southern California), Dave Casper (Notre Dame), coach Frank Cignetti (West Virginia, Indiana [Pa.]), Ty Detmer (BYU), coach James “Boots” Donnelly (Austin Peay, Middle Tennessee State), coach Jess Dow (Southern Connecticut State), coach Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee), coach Jimmy Johnson (Oklahoma State, Miami [Fla.]), Shelby Jordan (Washington University in St. Louis [Mo.]), Tommy Kramer (Rice), Joe Micchia (Westminster College [Pa.]), Art Monk (Syracuse), Greg Myers (Colorado State), Jonathan Ogden (UCLA), Gabe Rivera (Texas Tech), Art Shell (University of Maryland Eastern Shore), Mark Simoneau (Kansas State), coach R.C. Slocum (Texas A&M), Scott Thomas (Air Force), Jeff Wittman (Ithaca College [N.Y.]) and John Wooten (Colorado).

For more information about the College Football Hall of Fame, visit: www.cfbhall.com.