Jerome Bettis has been denied entry in the NFL Hall of Fame for the fourth consecutive year.
The former Pittsburgh Steelers star running back made it into the group of 10 finalists (which was reduced from 15), but was eliminated when the potential inductees were cut to five.
After deliberations that took nine hours, the following former NFL players qualified for the 2014 Hall of Fame class: Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks, Cardinals cornerback Aeneas Williams, Seahawks left tackle Walter Jones, Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, and Bills receiver Andre Reed.
Ray Guy, the first ever punter to make it to Canton, was voted in the veterans committee along with ex-Atlanta Falcons defensive end Claude Humphrey.
A 46-member committee, primarily made up of sportswriters, votes on potential Hall of Fame inductees who must be retired from pro football for at least five years. The induction ceremony is held in early August.
Bettis, a.k.a. “the Bus,” is the sixth-leading rusher in NFL history, recording 13,662 yards over 13 seasons. He retired after the Steelers’ 2006 Super Bowl victory over Seattle in Bettis’ hometown of Detroit. He was a six-time member of the NFL Pro Bowl, a three-time All Pro, and scored 94 touchdowns in his career.
Said Bettis about not making the NFL Hall of Fame in 2014: “As disappointed as it is to not get in, I’m happy for the players who got in. They all deserve to be in. So I can’t be mad, I can only hope that next year is my year.”
Bettis was traded to the Steelers after three seasons with the Rams (the first two years in Los Angeles before the team moved to St. Louis), where he became Pittsburgh’s all-time rushing leader.
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