Tim Tebow, who led Florida to two national championships and won the 2007 Heisman Trophy, is among the former players making a first appearance on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot.

The National Football Foundation announced on Monday the players and coaches eligible for election into the Hall of Fame, and 11 of the 80 FBS players are debuting on the ballot.

Hall of Fame ballots go to more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers. The votes are considered by the NFF’s Honors Courts, which then deliberates and selects a class of about a dozen players and two or three coaches.

College Football Hall of Famer and two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin from Ohio State is the chairman of the Honors Court, which includes athletic administrators, Hall of Famers and members of the media from all over the country.

Some of the other former players on the ballot for the first time are quarterback Alex Smith of Utah, wide receiver Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State, running back Ki-Jana Carter of Penn State, linebacker Luke Kuechly of Boston College and defensive lineman Dewey Selmon of Oklahoma.


Tebow was the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, and he was a three-time SEC offensive player of the year who set 28 school records during his career from 2006-09.


TEXAS TECH: Plenette Pierson is returning to Texas Tech to be an assistant coach at her alma mater after spending most of the past 20 years in the WNBA, where she played on three championship teams.

Texas Tech said Pierson, an assistant for the Minnesota Lynx for three years, will join Coach Krista Gerlich’s staff in time for summer workouts in Lubbock.

SOFTBALL: Jocelyn Alo hit two homers, including a grand slam, and No. 1 seed Oklahoma beat No. 5 UCLA 15-0 in the second game of a doubleheader at Oklahoma City to advance to the Women’s College World Series finals.

UCLA needed to beat Oklahoma twice to advance to the championship series, and the Bruins won the first game 7-3 thanks to two homers from Maya Brady, the niece of seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady.


Alo took command for the powerhouse Sooners in the second game, backing a two-hitter from Hope Trautwein (21-1), who struck out six and threw just 67 pitches in a game that was shortened to five innings because of the mercy rule.

Oklahoma (57-3) will defend its national title against either No. 7 seed Oklahoma State or Texas in a best-of-three championship series starting Wednesday.

Both teams have defeated the Sooners once this season.


ST. ANDREWS: Jack Nicklaus is returning to St. Andrews to become an honorary citizen.

Nicklaus won two of his three British Open titles at St. Andrews, and he chose the Old Course in 2005 to play his final major championship.


He already has received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of St Andrews, and now he joins truly exclusive company. The only other Americans to be awarded honorary citizenship in St. Andrews are Bobby Jones in 1958 and Benjamin Franklin in 1759.

The honor for Nicklaus was conferred by the Royal Burgh of St. Andrews Community Council, which is the equivalent of the “Freedom of the City” honor given to Jones.


HALL OF FAME: Lindsey Vonn, Michelle Kwan, Mia Hamm, Billie Jean King and the late Pat Summitt are among the nine individual women who will be inducted into the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame this summer, along with Michael Phelps and hurdling great Roger Kingdom.

Others voted onto the 2022 class on a crowded ballot were Natalie Coughlin (swimming), Muffy Davis (Para Alpine skiing and cycling), David Kiley (Para Alpine skiing, track and field and wheelchair basketball), Trischa Zorn-Hudson (Para swimming) and Gretchen Fraser (skiing).

The 1976 women’s 4×100 freestyle relay swimming team, anchored by Shirley Babashoff in its stunning upset over the East Germans, and the 2002 men’s Paralympic sled hockey team also were voted into the hall by a mix of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, media and administrators and fans.


The induction ceremony is set for June 24 at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

This is the first hall class since 2019; before that, there hadn’t been a class since 2012.


WORLD CUP: U.S. national team forward Catarina Macario injured her anterior cruciate ligament in a match with French club team Lyon and will miss World Cup qualifying next month.

Macario was injured 13 minutes into Lyon’s season finale Wednesday, a 4-0 victory over Issy. The 22-year-old was Lyon’s top scorer this season with 23 goals in 35 matches across all competitions.

The U.S. women, the two-time defending World Cup champions, will play in the CONCACAF W Championship in Monterrey, Mexico, in July. The tournament determines the region’s four teams for the 2023 World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.


Macario will need surgery and she is expected to be sidelined for six months.


STUTTGART OPEN: Sixth-seeded Lorenzo Sonego recovered from a slow start to defeat Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-2 in the first round  in Germany.

The Italian player dropped his serve in the first and fifth games of the match but won four in a row to clinch the first set before breaking twice in the second.

Sonego will next face German wild card Jan-Lennard Struff, who edged past American player Marcos Giron 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (8) in their first-round match.

Also, Benjamin Bonzi defeated Spain’s Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-1 for an all-French second-round match against Ugo Humbert or Arthur Rinderknech.


Oscar Otte defeated German compatriot Daniel Altmaier 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) for a second-round meeting with fourth-seeded Denis Shapovalov.


BELMONT: The projected field for the Belmont Stakes is down to eight after two withdrawals the day before the post position draw.

Neither Ethereal Road nor Howling Time will run in the third leg of the Triple Crown on Saturday, which is set to feature Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Ethereal Road has a quarter crack in one of his hooves, which will keep him out of the Belmont. Ethereal Road, the horse whose withdrawal from the Derby paved the way for Rich Strike’s upset victory at odds of 80-1, won the $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard May 21.

Instead of going to Belmont Park, Howling Time will remain in Louisville and run in a race at Churchill Downs on Saturday, according to trainer Dale Romans.

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