Ealey Among Famous Quarterbacks Not Elected to College Hall of Fame
Amazingly, a virtual dream list of college quarterbacks who played (or are active) professionally -- Joe Namath, Drew Brees, Eli Manning (one of 2012's Super Bowl quarterbacks), Bernie Kosar, and Joe Montana -- as well as Chuck Ealey of Portsmouth, Ohio, have not been, and likely never will be, elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.
The reason for this omission revolves around one modified rule governing the exclusive club that recognizes college's greatest players.
Portsmouth's "Wizard of Oohs and Ahhs"
Ealey grew up in Portsmouth, Ohio, and played undefeated there for Notre Dame High School, directing the school's football team at quarterback. On a sports scholarship, he attended Toledo University, from where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration and Business Economics in 1972.
In high school and college combined, Ealey achieved a record of 53-straight wins. The National Football League barely took notice, and Ealey can't get into the College Hall of Fame. The UT Rockets won three Mid-American Conference (MAC) championships with Ealey at QB. In three unbeaten seasons, the Rockets won all three of their bowl games, as well.
Ealey modestly says today that education is what is most important in an athlete's life. He doesn't hold his breath for election to the College Hall of Fame. With his wife of 39 years, and their three children, the former quarterback, the recognized "Wizard of Oohs and Ahhs", has enjoyed a career in business in Toronto, where he retired from the Canadian Football League.
The Ruling that Excludes
The ruling that keeps Ealey, a successful black athlete, and the likes of Montana, Manning, Brees, Kosar, and Namath, as well as others, from getting on the ballot for election to the college hall states that a candidate must have been "named an All American by an accepted major organization", wrote Matt Markey in a Toledo Blade article entitled "Undefeated Quarterback Still Denied Final Victory", published in July of 2010.
The ruling actually was implemented after Ealey's playing days were over, Markey explains in his article, which quotes President & Chief Executive Officer of the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame Steve Hatchell on the attached rule.
Ealey's Own Recognition Rules
Ealey's recognition as a First Team All American was printed in The Football News, a news outlet not accepted as a national voting entity.
Purdue University's long-time head football coach and Toledo native Joe Tiller was quoted in Markey's report: "If they can't fix that, it's a shame."
Ealey's college contemporaries included quarterbacks Rex Kern of Ohio State (27-2, 1968-1970); Archie Manning (Eli's daddy) (22-10-1, 1968-70); and Jim Plunkett of Stanford (22-8-2, 1968-1970). All three are in the College Hall of Fame.
In 1971, Ealey finished eighth in Heisman Trophy voting. But the "Wizard" claims that education and success in life are the important things. Football records are not heroic, he said in Markey's article.