To be considered for Hall of Fame election, a nominated player must have been retired at least five years. For a non-player, there is no mandatory retirement period, but a coach must be retired before he may be considered. A contributor, who is a nominee who has made outstanding contributions to pro football in capacities other than playing or coaching, may still be active in his pro football career.
The Hall's Selection Committee, by a straight plurality vote, will determine 14 modern-era finalists from the 71-nominee list. The 15th member of the finalists group that will be announced in mid-January is former NFL head coach George Allen, the recommended candidate of the Seniors Committee which reviews the qualifications of those players, coaches, and contributors whose careers primarily took place more than 25 years ago.
The Class of 2002 will be determined at the Selection Committee's annual meeting, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2002, in New Orleans, LA, the day before Super Bowl XXXVI. The election results will be announced immediately after the meeting at a press conference in the media headquarters.
While there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the current ground rules do stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year.
PRELIMINARY LIST OF NOMINEES FOR THE CLASS OF 2002
Nominees in First Year of Eligibility
Quarterbacks: Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Jim McMahon (Chicago 1982-88)
Tight End: Keith Jackson Offensive Linemen
Center: Ray Donaldson
Guard: Guy McIntyre
Defensive Linemen: Ray Childress, Sean Jones
Linebackers: Clay Matthews, Darryl Talley
Kicker: Nick Lowery
Additional Nominees For the Class of 2002
Quarterbacks: Ken Anderson, Jim Hart, Neil Lomax, Jim Plunkett, Phil Simms, Ken Stabler
Running Backs: Ottis Anderson, William Andrews, Roger Craig, Chuck Foreman, Greg Pruitt, Mark van Eeghen
Wide Receivers: Cliff Branch, James Lofton Art Monk, Drew Pearson, John Stallworth
Tight Ends: Dave Casper, Todd Christensen
Centers: Dave Dalby, Don Mosebar, Jeff Van Note
Guards: Joe DeLamielleure, Russ Grimm, Bob Kuechenberg
Tackles: Joe Jacoby, Mike Kenn, Jim Lachey
Defensive Linemen: Elvin Bethea, Dave Butz, Fred Dean, L.C. Greenwood, Dan Hampton Chicago (1979-1990), Claude Humphrey, Ed "Too Tall" Jones
Linebackers: Harry Carson, Randy Gradishar, Wilber Marshall, Rod Martin, Karl Mecklenburg, Matt Millen, Jerry Robinson, Phil Villapiano
Defensive Backs: Lester Hayes, Donnie Shell, Jack Tatum, Roger Wehrli
Punter: Ray Guy
Coaches: Bill Arnsparger, Don Coryell, Tom Flores, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Bill Parcells
Contributors: Ed DeBartolo, Jr., Ben Dreith, Art Modell, Paul Tagliabue, Ralph Wilson, Jr., Ron Wolf