The Pro Football Hall of Fame has named 26 semi-finalists for the class of 2012. Among them, five have career ties to the San Francisco 49ers. Headlining the former 49ers are running back Roger Craig and owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., while they are joined by Charles Haley (1986-91, 1999), Chris Doleman (1996-98) and Kevin Greene (1997).
Craig, who was recently enshrined into the 49ers Hall of Fame, spent eight years with the 49ers and was the first player in NFL history to rack up 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season. DeBartolo Jr., owned the 49ers from 1979-2000, a span which resulted in five Super Bowl trophies.
The list of 26 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists. That list increases to 17 finalist nominees with the inclusion of the two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee. The Seniors Committee nominees, who were announced in August, are cornerback Jack Butler, Pittsburgh Steelers (1951-59) and guard Dick Stanfel, Detroit Lions (1952-55); Washington Redskins (1956-58).
The results of the modern-era reduction vote to 15 finalists will be announced in early January.
To be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a nominated player or coach must not have participated as an active player or coach for five consecutive seasons. A contributor, who is a nominee who has made outstanding contributions to pro football in capacities other than playing and coaching, may still be active in his pro football career.
Although there is no set number of Enshrinees for any Hall of Fame Class, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules do stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than five modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year and a class of six or seven Enshrinees can only be achieved if one or both senior nominees are elected.
The Class of 2012 will be determined at the Selection Committee’s annual meeting on Feb. 4 in Indianapolis, the day before Super Bowl XLVI. The election results will be announced during a one-hour NFL Network special, live from the Super Bowl media headquarters.
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