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NCAA wrestling champ Curley Culp elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

TEMPE – Curley Culp, a two-sport standout during his time at Arizona State University and member of the Arizona State Hall of Fame, will be enshrined as part of the 2013 Hall of Fame Class, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee announced today.

Culp will join the legends in Canton as part of the seven-member HOF class selected today in New Orleans, La., earning one of the two senior selections that are available in each voting class. The newest members of the Hall of Fame were selected from a list of 17 finalists who had been determined earlier by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee.

A two-sport star for the Sun Devils from 1965 to 1967, Curley Culp was an All-American defensive lineman in 1967, as selected by Sporting News and Time.

In 1967, he won the NCAA national championship as a heavyweight wrestler – becoming the first Sun Devil to earn an NCAA title in the sport. He was the Gorriarian Award recipient for the most pins at that competition and was later named to the 1968 Olympic squad.

The Yuma, Ariz., native was twice named to the All-Western Athletic Conference team while in Tempe before beginning his professional career with the Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL in 1968. He starred for the Chiefs, appearing in the 1969 AFL All-Star Game and the 1971 Pro Bowl.

He played in 179 games during 14 seasons of professional football, representing the Chiefs from 1968-74. He is the 10th member of the Kansas City Chiefs to be elected to the Hall of Fame and was also inducted to the Chiefs’ Hall of Fame in 2008.

Culp started at defensive tackle on Kansas City’s Super Bowl IV squad, helping the Chiefs earn a 23-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings and is now the fifth member of that Super Bowl team to be enshrined into Canton.

He finished his NFL career playing with both the Houston Oilers and Detroit Lions, playing in five Pro Bowls and three times earning All-Pro honors. He was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year by NEA in 1975 and was also a charter induction into the Arizona State Hall of Fame that same season.

Culp joins Packer great Dave Robinson, who received the other senior selection, as well as the five modern day ballot selections that included Former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Larry Allen, former coach Bill Parcells, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter, Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp.

Senior selections must receive the 80 percent voting support that is required of all finalists. The Hall's Selection Committee can elect a maximum of two senior candidates and five modern-era candidates for a class no smaller than four or larger than seven.

The Seniors Committee is comprised of nine members of the overall selection committee. Through mail vote, the 2013 senior nominees were reduced to a final list of candidates. Five members of the Seniors Committee met at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton last year to discuss each of the senior finalists. A senior nominee is an individual whose career ended at least 25 years ago.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2013 will be formally enshrined during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in Canton, Ohio, in August.
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