Morris Named To Rotary Lombardi Award Semifinalist

HOUSTON -- Brigham Young University middle linebacker, Rob Morris, and a pair of athletes from unbeaten Penn State, including LaVar Arrington and Courtney Brown, are among the 12 semifinalists for the 1999 Rotary Lombardi Award which will be announced on Saturday, Oct. 9. The Lombardi Award is the third oldest major award in college football and is given annually to the nation's top lineman.

The 30th Annual Rotary Lombardi Award will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 1999 in Houston. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Houston, the award dinner has raised more than $2.35 million for the American Cancer Society's programs of cancer research since its inception in 1970.

The Big 10 Conference has five student-athletes, more than twice as many as the next nearest conference. In addition to the pair of players from national championship contenders Michigan and Penn State, Wisconsin offensive tackle Chris McIntosh also has been named a Lombardi Award semifinalist.

The SEC and Big East Conference each have two players on the list of semifinalists. Alabama offensive tackle Chris Samuels and Florida defensive end Alex Brown, the only sophomore on the list, represent the Southeastern Conference. Boston College defensive lineman Chris Hovan and Virginia Tech defensive end Corey Moore are the Big East‚s semifinalists.

Rounding out the list of 12 are single candidates from the Atlantic Coast, Conference USA and Mountain West Conferences -- Florida State nose guard Corey Simon, Southern Mississippi defensive end Adalius Thomas and BYU linebacker Rob Morris.

The 12 semifinalists for the 1999 award will be pared down to four finalists on Saturday, Nov. 6. The four finalists and their head coaches will fly to Houston on Dec. 7 and spend two days in the Space City with a busy agenda which includes visits to local hospitals and area youth clubs. The Rotary Lombardi Award recipient, as chosen by a panel of more than 300 national media members, college football coaches and past winners, will be named at a black-tie dinner at the J.W. Marriott Hotel on Dec. 8.

Motivational speaker and former NFL MVP Mark Moseley is the guest speaker for this year‚s Lombardi Award. Serving as emcee again in 1999 is Dallas Cowboys and national college football radio play-by-play announcer Brad Sham. Miss Texas 1999, Heather Jean Oglivie, and The Sisters Morales, a popular Houston-based singing group, are among the evening‚s featured entertainers. For ticket information, please call 713-973-9936.

To follow the progress of this year‚s nominees, fans can go online and visit the official Lombardi website at http://chili.collegesportsnews.com lombardi -- Sections on the website include a history of the award, information on the Rotary Club as well as the charities involved which benefit from the dinner, individual biographies updated weekly on all of the 12 semifinalists, and even a form where people can order tickets to this year‚s event.