Pair of Cougar legends back on Hall of Fame ballot

FOR THE SECOND consecutive year, two Cougar gridiron legends--<b>Clancy Williams</b> and <b>Rueben Mayes</b>-- have survived the initial screening process and selection criteria to be considered for 2004 induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Their names are among the 76 players and nine coaches who appear on the ballot being mailed this week to 13,000 voting members of the National Football Foundation. It's been over a quarter of a century since a player from Washington State University has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame

Williams was a two-way terror for WSU from 1962-64 at running back and defensive back. The Renton native was named first team All-America and all-conference in 1964. He led the Cougs in rushing, scoring, and kickoff returns as a junior and senior. He also led the team in total offense, receptions and punt returns as a senior.

Following his collegiate career, Williams starred in the Los Angeles Rams' secondary for eight seasons. He was their first round draft pick in 1965. His son, ButchWilliams, was a three-year all-conference selection at tight-end for the Cougs from 1990-92.

Mayes was named consensus All-America in 1984 and All-Pac-10 in 1984 and 1985. He still holds the WSU records for single-season rushing yards (1,632) and career rushing yards (3,519). His 357-yard game against Oregon in '84 was an NCAA record and helped him finish in the top ten for Heisman Trophy votes.

The Saskatchewan native also spent eight seasons in the NFL, earning the league's Rookie of the Year honor as a New Orleans Saint in 1986. Twice he was voted to the NFL Pro Bowl team.

Just four Cougars have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame: Mel Hein (1954), Turk Edwards (1975), Babe Hollingbery (1979), and Forest "Evy" Evashevski (2001). Hein and Edwards starred for the Hollingbery-coached Rose Bowl Cougars of 1931. Evashevski posted an 11-6-2 record as Cougar head coach from 1950-51.

To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been chosen first team All-America by an organization recognized by the NCAA, played their last year of college football at least ten years prior, played within the last 50 years, and be retired from professional football.

Notably absent from the ballot is legendary Washington State coach Lone Star Dietz. Like last year, many Cougar faithful were guardedly optimistic this would be the year Lone Star would earn the honor, thanks to the push of Foundation member and Cougar great Paul Sorensen and Lone Star historian and biographer Tom Benjey.

"I think it is unfortunate that a person who was instrumental in elevating West Coast football to the level of the then dominant Eastern teams, establishing the Rose Bowl and making New Year's Day a football tradition has received so little support from people of stature related to these institutions.," a disappointed Benjey said upon learning of Lone Star's exclusion.

As a college head coach, Deitz compiled a 113-61-7 record at WSU, Purdue, Wyoming, Louisiana Polytechnic, Haskell Indian Institute and Albright College. He also was freshman coach at Temple, and head coach of the Boston (now Washington) Redskins for two seasons.

Dietz guided two teams to the Rose Bowl -- WSU and the Mare Island Marines -- and was an assistant to Pop Warner at Stanford in two other Granddaddys of Them All.

The more Benjey uncovers on Dietz during his research, the greater his resolve to see him inducted.

"Perhaps Lone Star's biography will open people's eyes to his accomplishments and create a groundswell for his induction," he said.

Other former Pac-10 players who earned spots on the ballot this year include UCLA's Troy Aikman; Anthony Davis, Marlin McKeever, Dennis Thurman, and Charles Young of Southern Cal; Cal Golden Bear Joe Kapp; Washington kicker Chuck Nelson; and legendary Stanford defensive tackle Paul Wiggin.

Former Arizona State chief Darryl Rogers was the lone head coach with Pac-10 ties to appear on the ballot.

Additional notable names that appear on the ballot include Roosevelt Leaks, Texas; Joe Washington, Oklahoma; Jim Taylor, Louisiana State; Lydell Mitchell, Penn State; Ray Guy, Southern Mississippi; Rex Kern, Ohio State; Charley Gogolak, Princeton; Jack Tatum, Ohio State; Tom Curtis, Michigan; Carl Eller, Minnesota; Terry Hanratty, Notre Dame; and Art Monk, Syracuse.

The Hall of Fame Class will be announced in late March and inducted at The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's 47th Awards Dinner December 7, 2004, in New York City.

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