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A Hoya Headlines Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Centennial Class of 2020

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NFL Spring Meeting - Commissioner Paul Tagliabue - May 23, 2006 Photo by Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

Georgetown Hoyas alumnus Paul Tagliabue (C’62) will be enshrined Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Centennial Class of 2020.

Mr. Tagliabue previously was commissioner of the National Football League from 1989 until 2006, and on the Georgetown University Board of Directors from 2006 to 2018. He recently served as Vice Chair of Georgetown University’s Board of Directors and served as Chair from 2009 to 2015.

Paul Tagliabue is also a member of the Georgetown Athletics Hall of Fame as “basketball captain, class president and Rhodes Scholarship finalist.”


The full 15-person Centennial Slate for the Class of 2020 was revealed live today on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.” The special slate of enshrinees consisting of 10 Seniors (players who last played more than 25 years ago), three Contributors (an individual other than a player or coach) and two Coaches were elected by a special Blue-Ribbon Panel during a meeting at the Hall of Fame last week. It marked the first time in historythat a group of enshrinees was selected during a meeting held at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The two coaches, BILL COWHER and JIMMY JOHNSON, were surprised by Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker, who informed them of their election on their respective studio shows during last weekend’s NFL divisional playoff games.

The Centennial Slate of Enshrinees will be joined in the Class of 2020 by five Modern-Era Players who will be elected on “Selection Saturday,” the day before Super LIV in Miami. Those five individuals will be revealed and join the members of the Centennial Slate on NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on the eve of Super Bowl LIV at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. Details and ticket information for the annual Enshrinement Ceremony and the Centennial Celebration will be revealed in the coming weeks.



HOF Finalist: 5 (2007-09, 2017, 2020) | Year of Eligibility: n/a


NFL Career: 1989-2006

National Football League Seasons: 17

College: Georgetown, New York University

Born: Nov. 24, 1940 in Jersey City, New Jersey

During tenure, NFL grew to unparalleled heights during his 17-year reign after succeeding Pete Rozelle as league Commissioner ... By a wide margin, the NFL with its competitive equality is considered nation’s most popular sport ... Committed to a “league think” philosophy, his leadership enabled NFL to address several key priorities ... The league expanded to 32 teams ... Nearly two decades of labor peace with the NFL Players Association ... League supported some 20 new stadium construction projects ... Established NFL as a global brand with operations in overseas markets ... Was first league to operate on a weekly basis on two separate continents ... Created a league-wide internet network and subscriber-based NFL TV Network ... Secured largest TV contracts in entertainment history totaling $25 billion ... Before becoming league’s CEO, represented NFL as attorney ... Served in office of U.S. Secretary of Defense as policy analyst.

Paul Tagliabue headlines Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Centennial class of 2020 | USATODAY

The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Centennial class of 2020 is set, and among the 15 honorees selected was former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who helped lead the league to new heights during his tenure from 1989-2006. Under Tagliabue’s 17-year leadership, the NFL expanded to 32 teams, 20 new stadiums broke ground, and the league pushed toward a global brand. Most notably, he was a main architect behind the NFL becoming the country’s most popular sport, securing the largest contracts in entertainment history — totaling $25 billion.

Meet the Pro Football Hall of Fame Centennial Class -- Paul Tagliabue, Donnie Shell and more | ESPN

He has been a polarizing candidate for some of his early comments on concussions as well as stadium troubles in California during his tenure, having been turned away four times by the Hall’s Board of Selectors over the past 14 years. But his supporters cite his role in the growth of the NFL into a global, multibillion dollar business, his part in the creation of the Rooney Rule, to promote diversity in hiring, and a long period of labor peace between the league and the players’ union. Why he was elected: It took 11 votes, in multiple cities over multiple meetings, by the NFL owners to select Tagliabue in 1989 to replace Pete Rozelle as the league’s commissioner. Before Tagliabue’s tenure, the commissioner largely ran the league’s day-to-day operations but held little power. Tagliabue flipped it to make the commissioner the central figure in the NFL’s operations. Record television revenues and extended labor peace followed. His most ardent supporters, including Hall of Famer and late Steelers owner Dan Rooney, said Tagliabue should have been in the Hall of Fame long ago.