The Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1987 to recognize and honor those athletes who have achieved outstanding success, and those who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of competitive sports in this community.
All of the individuals honored during the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet are recognized as being definite role models for the families of Onondaga County. They have shown a strong dedication to their respective sports and have worked hard to reach this pinnacle of achievement. Their professionalism, values and commitment to excellence make it easier for Syracuse to develop future athletes who understand the importance of a good education and dedication to the quality of life in our community.
We are frequently asked about the nomination process. Hopefully, the Q&A's below will be helpful:
How does an individual get elected in the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame?
For an individual to be considered for election, the process begins with the submission of a written nomination from someone (friend, family member, teammate, colleague etc.) in letter format, submitted with a nomination form. Once a person has been nominated, their name is added to the master list. Please click HERE first to check the master list to see if the person you'd like to nominate has already been nominated. If the person you'd like to nominate isn't on the master list, click HERE for the individual nomination form.
In addition to the completed nomination form, the person nominating an individual must provide sufficient documentation so that the organization’s historian is able to vet and summarize the person’s achievements concisely to present to the Board for review. Documentation could be news articles, copies of awards, photos, etc.
What are the eligibility requirements to nominate someone?
Nominees must be born in the Greater Syracuse area and/or have been in full-time residence at least 10 years.
Nominees must be considered “hometown” i.e. commonly associated with the Greater Syracuse Community in terms of reputation and career for at least 10 years. This restriction is intended to eliminate candidates who only competed in college athletics here over a 4-5 year period, and didn’t establish permanent residence.
Nominees must also fit into one of these categories:
High school, collegiate, semi professional or professional sports; coach, manager, administrator, who has made a significant contribution(s) in the world of sports to advance and his/her reputation and the community’s repute as a “sports mecca.”
A candidate who has performed an unusal service in fostering, developing and helping a sport to sustain and prosper in the Greater Syracuse area.
There is no restriction presently on a waiting period for retirement from the career that established the candidate’s reputation.
What is the deadline for nominations?
New nominations for any given year must be received by November 30th-- without exception.
What happens once the materials are submitted?
All new nominees bios are presented to the entire Board in March each year. The new nominations are added to the 400+ names of those nominated previously. You can check the most current list of those who have been nominated by clicking here. If the person you would like to nominate is on the list, you need not resubmit the name. Instead you should contact us with your input as to why you think that person should be considered for induction. Use the blog on this site (still under construction) to advocate as well.
Explain the Election Process.
The Board meets for a preliminary screening of all (400+) names on the nominee list each April. At that meeting each Board member is obligated to peruse the entire list of nominees and encouraged to advocate for as many people on the list he/she wishes to campaign for at a full Board meeting, known as “Champions Night”. Board members (Directors) are asked to request the Historian to distribute biographical files on their candidate(s) to the full Board. The Board member ‘s presentation is to be informed, factual and passionate. It can and should take into account advocacy and sentiments from the general population of the community whether in the form of written letters or emails to Board members, blogs on this website, posts on social media sites promoted by the GSSHOF org., personal contacts etc.
A secret ballot is taken after that meeting, in which all (35) Directors participate by selecting their personal top 10 candidates for induction. Then a top 15 list is compiled to winnow the field from over 400 names to a final 15 for that year. Each year a brand new top 15 list is determined. However, at the present time, no one is removed from the master list of nominees, regardless of the number of years the name has appeared on that list and or the lack of votes he/she receives. This policy could be amended in the future by a vote of the majority of the board.
At a second meeting held in April each year, individuals on the Board are invited to campaign (champion) their favorite candidate amongst the finalists. A second secret ballot is conducted. The ballots are submitted to the Organization’s President; who certifies the results to the Executive Committee. The committee then must recommend the top SIX vote getters to the board for induction. In the event of ties for the sixth and last position, a runoff or additional ballot is held. The Executive Committee can, at its discretion, accept the 7th place vote getter once the tie is broken, or even additional recipients in the order of the number of votes they received. Although a large Board is sometime unwieldy, in the case of the GSSHOF, it assures a democratic process, and not a popularity contest. Case in point--In the Hall’s (30) year election history, no one individual of the Top 15 has been unanimously mentioned on every single final ballot.
A press conference is held in June each year to announce the current year’s class. The press conference is typically conducted at the Hall’s Museum, currently located at Driver’s Village in Cicero.
What is a Veteran inductee? How are they selected?
In addition to the guaranteed six entrants each year, The HOF also elects a veteran, i.e., someone whose career achievements occurred predominantly at least 50 years prior to selection.
An independent committee of Board members is appointed, compromised of media veterans and those on the Board with personal knowledge of candidates who for some reason or other might be under the radar or whose stories are not widely known, and heretofore have been overlooked and take up their cause. The Veteran’s Committee has the final determination in this category and at the present time chooses one honoree per year and that person is inducted with the same status as the group elected by the board.
How are the Teams of Honor selected?
For many years the HOF’s policy was to select only individuals to enshrine in its Museum, so as not to distract from its purpose; the special moment and singular honor it was bestowing at its induction ceremony.
However, over time the Board’s position changed, feeling that so many worthy athletes had contributed mightily to the success of their teams but might never receive an individual accolade. Thus, in 2006, the Team of Honor designation was born. The Board elects one team for its achievement(s) in a single or over a period of years. For example the CBA football teams of the early 50s. The Board is not obligated to elect a team for this distinction each year, but does so when merited.
In the years a team is elected, there are three candidate teams nominated. The Board chooses the winner.
Teams must be nominated in the same fashion that an individual but using a different form. To nominate a team, click here for the proper form. Again, the more documentation provided, the better.
How do I campaign for my candidate?
Create a buzz. Start by submitting your advocacy on our blog on this website (coming soon). Be persistent. Provide documentation and correct facts.
In the past, advocates have reached out to the Organization’s President and provided materials to distribute to the Board. This can be done by mailing or hand delivering these materials to:
Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame
NBT Bank Stadium
One Tex Simone drive
Syracuse N.Y. 13209
PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL INDIVIDUAL BOARD MEMBERS EVEN IF YOU HAVE OBTAINED THEIR EMAIL OR HOME ADDRESS.
Where and when is the annual dinner to honor the inductees?
Beginning in 2016, the annual induction dinner site has been moved to The Oncenter on Montgomery St. in Downtown Syracuse.
The Annual Dinner is typically held on the third Monday of October. Dinner seating begins at 6:30 with a cocktail hour (cash bar) and silent auction preceeding the event. The dinner usually lasts about 2 ½ hours. It is telecast repeatedly throughout the year by the Hall’s broadcast partner Time Warner, and is also available On Demand.
How much are the tickets and how do I get them? Can I buy a whole table? Can I request to sit with my friends?
Table requests are a minimum of (10) and max of up to (12).
You may submit names of those you would like to be seated with however there are no guarantees unless the tickets are purchased together. We will do our best to accomodate your request.
What if I have additional questions not answered here?
You may reach us via email by clicking here or by calling Joe Janowski, GSSHOF President, 315.652-1464 or 315-317-5678.