CANTON, Ohio (AP) — The Pro Football Hall of Fame will expand the number of potential inductees to 20 in 2020 as part of the NFL's celebration of its 100th season.
Calling it a centennial class, hall president David Baker said Friday five modern-day players, 10 seniors, three contributors and two coaches could be elected next year. The modern-day group would be decided by the 48 selection committee voters, as always, on the day before the Super Bowl in February.
The other 15 would be voted on as one bloc, not individually, by the selection committee. They would be chosen by a 25-member committee that will include Hall of Famers, historians and current voters.
Part of the 2020 class would be inducted in early August. The others would be enshrined about Sept. 17, 2020, the date that marks 100 years from the original NFL game.
Baker did not identify the specific members of the 25-person committee, nor the exact voting procedures. Through the years, 80% positive votes have been required for election.
He joked that with so many potential inductees next year — the current maximum is eight — there will be "a lot of doors to knock on" with the good news.
"This is good for football, for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and it is great for the NFL," he said. "We get a way to celebrate 100 years and look forward to the next 100 years."
Baker also expressed strong confidence that the voters will get things right and no one who doesn't have the proper credentials will wind up making the hall.
"It's an opportunity to catch up perhaps on some injustices," he said, mentioning there are seven members of NFL all-decade teams not in the Hall of Fame. "This is an opportunity that comes around every other lifetime."
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