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Jerome Bettis not elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Steelers running back Jerome Bettis will have to wait for a fifth ballot to earn a place among the immortal of the game in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He finished as a finalist for the fourth consecutive year.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

For a fourth consecutive year, Steelers running back Jerome Bettis was not selected as a member of the latest Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

Bettis retired as the fifth-leading rusher in NFL history with 13,662 yards in a career that went from 1993-2005. Bettis was drafted 10th overall by the Los Angeles Rams after a successful career at Notre Dame.

After three seasons with the Los Angeles and St. Louis Rams, and 3,091 rushing yards, Bettis was traded to the Steelersfor a third round pick in the 1996 NFL Draft. The teams swapped second round picks (with the Steelers moving down 13 spots in that round) and giving up a fourth round pick in the 1997 NFL Draft.

Needless to say, the trade was one-sided.

Bettis rattled off a streak of six consecutive 1,000 yard seasons, including a 1,665-yard 1997 season that saw the Steelers advance to the AFC Championship game behind his league-high 375 carries. The 1,665 yards still stand as the Steelers' franchise record for rushing yards in a season.

He has been a Hall of Fame finalist in each of his first four years of eligibility.


The day began with 15 modern-era finalists, and Bettis survived the first cut down to 10 candidates. The final five that beat out Bettis were Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan, and Aeneas Williams.

All five were then approved for actual induction into the Hall of Fame, along with both of the senior nominees - Ray Guy and Claude Humphrey.