Each football season, the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame pay tribute to a select few with awards of excellence for exhibiting superior qualities of scholarship, citizenship and leadership. The Foundation also recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding support for the NFF and its mission of promoting the game of amateur football. The NFF Gold Medal is the highest award offered by the NFF.
Recipient’s life must reflect the values of those who have excelled in amateur sport, particularly football. He or she must have achieved success in an industrial, business, financial, educational, professional or related career and American citizen, most of whose business life has been spent in the United States. Moreover, they must have an unblemished reputation for honesty and integrity.
Additionally, he or she must have "contributed notably in public service to the welfare of his country and fellow citizens," either as a private citizen or as a government official or both. and have shown a capacity for dedicated institutional commitment to the problem of our competitive economy versus a centrally dictated society and a concern for the human spirit as well as the mind. Recipient may be an elected or appointed federal or state government official, or a member of Congress or any state legislative body, however, they shall not be selected because of political power or on a partisan basis.
Various individuals associated with the National Football Foundation, such as former recipients, board members, corporate leaders, chapter presidents and friends, send nominations and suggestions to the NFF chairman. Selection of the recipient is made by the awards committee and ratified by the board of directors.