Arkansas State University is well represented on the Southland Conference's 1980s All-Decade Football Team<http://www.southland.org/Sports/Football/FootballArticle/tabid/296/article/11905/Southland-Announces-1980s-Football-All-Decade-Team.aspx> as 11 individuals from A-State were duly recognized in an announcement made this Wednesday (Oct. 16) by the conference.
The Southland Conference, as part of its year-long 50th Anniversary commemoration, is honoring football student-athletes from each decade. The 1980s team includes outstanding players from it member institutions from the 1980 season through 1989. A total of 82 former student-athletes comprise the 1980s All-Decade Team, which includes honorees from each of the 12 institutions holding membership in the Southland Conference at some point during the period.
The Soutland Conference underwent significant membership changes during the 1980's and the league also became a NCAA Division I-AA powerhouse with a national championship, four national title game appearances, and five semifinal playoff contests.
Arkansas State was represented on the Southland Conference 1980's All-Decade team by offensive lineman Randy Barnhill(1984-86), quarterback Dwane Brown (1986), offensive lineman Ray Brown (1985), running back Maurice Carthon (1981), defensive lineman Michael Cline (1984-85), defensive lineman Carter Ray Crawford (1985), punter Bruce Gartman (1980 and 1982), running back Rickey Jemison (1985-86), defensive back Greg Lee (1985-86), linebacker Mike Morris (1981-82), and defensive lineman Marvin Neloms (1984-86).
Those A-State players who were either drafted and/or played for a National Football League (NFL) team were Ray Brown (St. Louis Cardinals, Washington, San Francisco and Detroit), Maurice Carthon (New York Giants and Indianapolis), and Michael Cline (Green Bay). Brown, who had a 20-year career in the NFL, was a member of Washington's Super Bowl XXVI champion team and a 2001 NFL Pro Bowl selection. Carthon participated in Super Bowls XXI and XXV with New York.
Pat Collins (1982-88) of ULM was recognized as the SLC 1980's Coach of the Decade while the 1980's Player of the Decade was McNeese State running back Buford Jordan.
To best assess the candidate pool for the all-decade teams, the Southland Conference developed a metric that analyzed numerous elements of a student-athlete's performance and value within the league at the time. Most notably, the conference honored "real-time" factors such as all-conference selection by coaches and a player's statistical performance among his peers at the time. Further, other components of selection including a player's statistical performance among his peers at the time. Further, other components of selection including a player's effort toward helping his team win a championship or finish near the top of the conference, whether he earned individual honors from the league, if he participated in preseason bowls, and if he was drafted by or participated in the NFL.
The Southland Conference will continue to recognize all-decade teams throughout the 2013 season.