SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -Florida State coach Bobby Bowden doesn't believe college football players have changed a lot since his first head coaching job in 1959.
The parents have, though.
``Parents have quit raising their children. We need to do a better job of staying with our children and raising them,'' Bowden said during Saturday night's College Football Hall of Fame enshrinement dinner.
Bowden said the biggest difference with players today - aside from the ear rings and the way they wear their underwear - is they're bigger. When he became head coach at Samford in 1959, he said, a 200-pound lineman was considered big. Now 300-pound linemen are average.
There is one area where today's players fall short though, Bowden said.
``I don't think they are as tough as they were back in those days,'' he said.
Charlie Ward, who helped Bowden win his first national championship in 1993, said what Bowden taught him was patience - a quality Bowden needed himself when Ward first started.
``When he recruited me he came to my house and one of the things he said was to myself and my Mom and Dad was I had to be patient if I wanted to play quarterback,'' Ward said. ``One of the things now looking back, when I got the opportunity to play I made him learn patience.''
Ward, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1993, and Bowden were enshrined together Saturday into the hall along with 19 former college players and coaches. Among the others honored were former Outland Trophy winners Steve Emtman of Washington, Chad Hennings of Air Force, Bruce Smith of Virginia Tech, former Florida running back Emmitt Smith and Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier of Nebraska.
Emmitt Smith said making the hall was never a goal he set.
``You dream of national championships and the Heisman,'' he said Saturday. ``This was something never in your vision.''
Smith, the NFL's career rushing leader, said Saturday's ceremonies brought back fond memories. His favorite was his first start in the third game of his freshman season. He started the season as the Gators' third-string tailback and carried the ball just 15 times in the first two games.
He then ran for a school-record 224 yards and two touchdowns as the Gators upset 11th-ranked Alabama 23-14, ending an eight-game losing streak to the Crimson Tide.
``It was a great start,'' he said.
Smith had a great career, rushing for 1,599 yards as a junior, finishing seventh for the Heisman, and gaining 3,928 yards rushing in three seasons. Smith said the thing he liked best about college football is ``it's the purest form of football.''
``No pay. You just play,'' he said. ``You're motivated not only by an educational standpoint and motivated to win, but you're motivated to showcase your talents so you can position yourself at the next level. At the NFL level you have to be self-motivated. Sometimes when you're given a lot, it's hard to self-motivate. You have to find ways to be self-motivated.''
Members of the enshrinement class took part in a parade Saturday, then played a flag football game in front of the hall and gave a youth football clinic before the evening banquet. Hennings said the highlight for him was the flag football game.
``It was a lot of fun,'' he said. ``It was neat to see the melding of different generations coming to enjoy a sport, and the fans who enjoyed it.''
Emtman said he was amazed to be enshrined into the hall.
``The words 'College Football Hall of Famer' say it all,'' he said. ``You tell people the Hall of Fame and you know you've accomplished something.''
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