CT Sports Law Salutes America’s Veterans

On this Veterans Day, Connecticut Sports Law honors and thanks those who served our country. 

Most appropriately, Pat Tillman will be honored by the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame this weekend as his Arizona State University Sun Devils host Stanford in Tempe, Arizona.  Tillman will be inducted in the 2010 class of the College Hall of Fame.

“It will be an honor for Arizona State University to share this on-campus recognition of Pat Tillman with our community and his family and friends.” said Lisa Love, vice president for university athletics at ASU. “Pat, an American hero, is a significant part of our history and we are thrilled to recognize him and his family once again.”

In May, the NFF announced that Tillman, who played linebacker at ASU from 1994-97 and earned First Team All-America honors in 1997, will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2010 class. Throughout the season, each inductee returns to his alma mater for a special on-field event where a plaque is unveiled for permanent display at the school. Beginning with the NFF’s inaugural Hall of Fame class in 1951, the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute has served as the first of numerous highlights in the Hall of Fame experience, giving each inductee one more chance to take the field and hear the roar of the crowd. Tillman, who was tragically killed while on military duty in Afghanistan, will be represented by several of his Arizona State teammates.

“Pat Tillman is a true American hero and his thrilling accomplishments on the field provide an unmatched example of the leadership qualities forged on the gridiron that he exhibited later in life,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “He clearly built a record that deserves to be forever preserved in the College Football Hall of Fame, and it will be an honor to travel to Tempe and hear the crowds cheer his name in appreciation of his accomplishments.”

The first-ever Arizona State player to be named Pac-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Tillman led the Sun Devils to the 1996 Pac-10 title and a berth in the Rose Bowl. Named team MVP in 1997, the two-time First Team Academic All-Pac10 selection finished his ASU career with 230 career tackles. He was named Sun Bowl MVP in his senior season and has since been inducted into the Sun Bowl Hall of Fame. Tillman was also named the 1997 Sporting News/Honda Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the 1998 NFL Draft, Tillman spent three seasons in the NFL before enlisting in the U.S. Army after 9/11. Tillman, a U.S. Army Ranger, served tours in Iraqi Freedom (2003) and Operation Enduring Freedom (2004) before he was tragically killed. Following his death, he was awarded a Purple Heart by the U.S. Army and a Silver Star by the U.S. Military. The Pac-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award was named The Pat Tillman Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year Award, and Tillman was posthumously honored with the NFF’s Distinguished American Award in 2006.

The Pat Tillman Foundation was established in his name to promote scholarship, the sprit of community service and supporting veterans, active service members and their dependents. Its signature event, Pat’s Run, attracts over 30,000 participants each year. He is survived by his wife Marie.

Information provided by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

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