Pro Football Hall of Fame expands opportunities for senior candidates amid backlog

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CANTON, Ohio — Senior candidates will have more opportunities to be selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the next three years.

The hall’s board of directors on Thursday approved several changes to the bylaws governing the selection of Hall of Fame inductees. In the past, only one player who was no longer in the Modern Era category could be elected to the Sanctuary each year. But for the 2023-2025 promotions, a maximum of three per year may be chosen by the selection committee.

A large backlog of senior applicants – players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago – led to the review.

“The selection committee members made it clear that they wanted to invite more seniors ‘into the hall’ to discuss,” said Hall Chairman Jim Porter. “From those initial conversations, the Hall of Fame team overseeing the selection process worked with the board to create a pathway for those committee discussions that could lead to eventual ordination for more seniors. .

There is no guarantee that three seniors will be elected each of the next three years. But now there is a wider path for them to be chosen.

Thanks to another change in the bylaws, 12 senior candidates will be presented to the senior hall committee, which means that the careers of more players will be discussed at greater length than in previous selection meetings.

Additionally, a change for the next three election cycles merges candidates from the Coaches category and the Contributors category. One finalist will be eligible for election from this combined group in the classes of 2023, 2024 and 2025.

No changes were made to the selection process for modern-era players, those whose careers ended between five and 25 years before the election year.

With the revisions, the next three classes could potentially consist of nine people: up to five modern-era players, up to three seniors, and up to one coach or contributor. Previous years had a maximum of eight.

This summer’s Hall of Fame inductions will take place on August 6.

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