The voting process by the 46 Hall of Fame Selectors will take place on Saturday afternoon in Glendale, Arizona as they decide the fate of 18 Finalists for induction as members of the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. Bills former GM Bill Polian is one of two finalists from the newly added Contributors category with former Green Bay Packers GM Ron Wolf. Here are some facts you need to know about the voting process concerning Contributors.
Andre Reed is enshrined as a Pro Football Hall of Famer in Canton, OH on Aug. 2, 2014.
Just last August a bylaws change to the selection process was approved by the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Board of Trustees by which a Contributor – defined as an individual who has "made outstanding contributions to professional football in capacities other than playing or coaching" – will automatically be included among the annual list of finalists for election. The Contributor finalist will also be voted on for election separate from the modern-era finalists.
So Contributor finalists do not have to go through the reduction votes that whittle the list of 15 modern era finalists to 10 and then five before a yes or no vote. The Senior candidate(s) and Contributor candidate(s) are discussed and voted on for election. They must receive the same 80 percent of the vote as the modern-era candidates.
The Board made the change to include a specific Contributor category to address what many felt was a backlog of deserving non-player candidates.
They also approved a temporary measure allowing for two Contributor finalists in years one (starting with the Class of 2015), three and five, of the next five years. In years two and four of that same period, there will be just one Contributor finalist. At the end of the five-year period, the number of Contributor finalists going forward will be one per year.
The Contributor finalists will be selected annually, by five members, on a rotational basis, of a nine-member subcommittee of the Selection Committee.
Polian was named a six-time NFL Executive of the Year by the Sporting News and led three different NFL franchises to conference title games (Buffalo, Carolina, Indianapolis) winning five conference championships and one Super Bowl title.
For more information on the Hall of Fame selection process, visit the Hall of Fame's archive.