Bill Belichick criticizes ‘pretty confusing’ HOF voting process

By Jesse Reed

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who will undoubtedly have a bust in Canton some day, took time to talk about a subject he finds confusing on Friday.

Belichick was talking about how valuable assistant coaches are to any team’s success, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss, when he launched into a mini-rant about the Hall of Fame voting process.

“The Hall of Fame is a tough one,” he said. “I don’t even know what the criteria is. You have guys that played 15 to 20 years and aren’t in the Hall of Fame. You have guys that played four or five that are, and vice versa. You have guys that have had great, short careers that aren’t, and guys that have had OK, long careers that are. You have guys that haven’t won championships that are. You’ve got guys that have won a lot of championships that aren’t. What are we basing it on? I don’t know.”

The legendary coach also wondered out loud if there should be a spot in the Hall of Fame for assistant coaches. He then questioned whether or not anyone really knows that the process should look like.

“You’ve got different sets of rules for everybody, too — players, coaches, contributors. I don’t understand it [but] I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it,” he added. “But what little I know about it, it’s pretty confusing to me. I have no idea what the criteria is. If you talk to people who have been in that room, which I’m sure you guys have, it sounds like there’s a lot of confusion in there, too, about who [they’re] voting for, what we’re voting on, how much of it is political, how much of it is a campaign trail. I don’t know. It’s not really my thing — the whole process.”

Every year, worthy players, coaches and contributors are excluded from induction. Guys like Roger Craig, Morten Anderson and Joe Jacoby have been snubbed multiple times, and it took years for Eddie DeBartolo to finally make his way to the Hall.

There is no doubt that the Hall of Fame voting process is not perfect. And when you have a guy like Belichick say he doesn’t really understand how it all works or is even supposed to work, something’s wrong.

It’s easy to vote first-ballot guys like Brett Favre into Canton. Those are no-brainers.

But what about all the fringe guys? What about players and coaches who were great in the 1960s and 1970s who are still on the outside looking in? How does the voting committee decide who gets in and who gets out when it comes to worthy players from another era?

It’s a process that needs refining in the eyes of many, and it appears we can add Belichick to that number.