A year ago, when Willie Roaf was voted down by the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, it set off a round of controversy about the process of electing new Hall of Famers. This year Roaf got in, but controversy remains. And Roaf has an idea about how to fix things.
Roaf said in an interview with ESPN 101 in St. Louis that he thinks some fresh blood is needed on the 44-member selection committee, and he thinks the way to go about doing that is to limit the amount of time that voters can remain on the committee.
“I just think that looking on the outside looking in one step would be maybe a change up sometimes in the voters,” Roaf said. “If the committee switched up on the guys every five years or whatever I think some players would like to see some changes in who is doing the selection process every year because most of the time I think it’s the same voters that come in and do all the voting. Outside looking in I would like to see a little more change up on who votes.”
Roaf noted that it has been tough for receivers Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Andre Reed, who seem to have canceled out, and he wonders whether the Hall of Fame’s regional approach of having one voter representing each NFL team’s home market has led the voters to divide into factions supporting the candidates from their own areas.
“I know these guys are involved in every city but if you have the same guys, I think that’s some of the reason of what’s happening with the receivers,” Roaf said. “They’re splitting up the vote or something is happening. One of those guys hopefully gets in next year because those are some great receivers.”
Roaf made clear that he’s honored to have been chosen, and he also took pains to say that when he was passed over last year, he was passed over for other deserving candidates. But his point remains: It certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing for the Hall of Fame to get some fresh perspectives from some new voters.