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Bettis, Cowher among those eligible for Hall of Fame

| Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, 5:44 p.m.

Running back Jerome Bettis and linebacker Kevin Greene, both of whom were among the 15 finalists last year, lead a group of six former Steelers players, coaches or executives who are being nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Also on the 127-man list are former Steelers player personnel chief Art Rooney Jr., coach Bill Cowher, kicker Gary Anderson and coach Buddy Parker.

Other names include former Pitt linemen Jimbo Covert and Bill Fralic, former Penn State lineman Steve Wisniewski and former West Virginia linebacker Darryl Talley.

While Bettis and Greene were finalists last year, they face competition from a strong incoming class that includes former defensive stars Warren Sapp and John Lynch, offensive linemen Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen, running back Priest Holmes, defensive lineman Michael Strahan and kicker Morten Andersen.

The 127 candidates will be trimmed to 25 semifinalists in November. That group will be cut to 15 in January, and those names will be voted upon the day before the Super Bowl.

The Hall of Fame can induct as few as four and as many as seven in a single year. There are two seniors nominees, former nose tackle Curley Culp and former linebacker Dave Robinson. Former Steelers cornerback Jack Butler was inducted after being a senior nominee last year.

The list includes 89 players, 14 coaches and 24 contributors. The other finalists from last year who return to the ballot are receivers Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Andre Reed, guard Will Shields, defensive end Charles Haley, cornerback Aeneas Williams, coach Bill Parcells and former 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at arobinson@tribweb.com.

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