Morgan's Banks is humbled by his Hall of Fame induction

December 09, 1992|By John Steadman | John Steadman,Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Earl Banks of Morgan State was one of 13 men inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame last night.

The party at the Waldorf-Astoria before 2,000 guests, each paying $350 a ticket, highlighted the accomplishments of Banks and coach John Ralston of Utah State and Stanford.

"It's an occasion that makes a man feel humble," said Banks. "I can't imagine any game doing more for a boy and man than football has done for me. The fact my dearest friend, Buddy Young, preceded me into the Hall of Fame before passing away, adds to the distinction."

Banks and Young lived in Chicago, were teammates at Wendell Phillips High School and, ultimately, the game brought them to Baltimore -- after Young convinced the Morgan administration that Banks was the man most capable of succeeding the retiring Eddie Hurt in 1960. Banks proved more than capable, with a record of 95-30-2 in 14 seasons at Morgan. He sent some 40 players into the NFL.

Last night's enshrinees, in addition to the coaches, included:

Lou Michaels of Kentucky, Jim Lynch of Notre Dame, Ron Johnson of Michigan, Larry Morris of Georgia Tech, Craig Morton of California, Bob Odell of Penn, Loyd Phillips of Arkansas, Howard Twilley of Tulsa, Art Weiner of North Carolina, Jack Youngblood of Florida and the late Jim Weatherall of Oklahoma.

Staged by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, the program didn't allow for each individual to respond. So the spokesman for the class of 1992 was Morton, a quarterback who made All-America in 1964 and then spent 18 years in the NFL.

Others honored at the ceremony were Donald Keough, president of the Coca-Cola Co., who received the Gold Medal Award; Wellington Mara, president of the New York Giants, recipient of the Distinguished American Award; and Eddie Robinson, the Grambling coach, winner of the Outstanding Contribution to College Football Award.

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