Kent Austin will finally get his chance to make the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Executive director Mark DeNobile confirmed Friday that Austin has been nominated by an anonymous member of the public and therefore will be considered by the hall’s selection committee this year. It doesn’t guarantee he’ll be enshrined — the three-stage process by which players are selected is truly Byzantine — but at least he’ll have an opportunity to get in.
He’s got a strong case. Austin, who spent 10 years with Saskatchewan, B.C., Toronto and Winnipeg, is currently 12th all-time in career passing yards with 36,030. Every player above Austin on that list is either already in the Hall of Fame (Anthony Calvillo, Damon Allen, Ron Lancaster) or likely on the way there (Ricky Ray, Henry Burris.)
There are also several players already in the hall that have lesser passing totals than Austin, including Dieter Brock, Condredge Holloway, Russ Jackson, Bernie Faloney, Dave Dickenson and Warren Moon.
While career passing yards aren’t the only measure, Austin has some other strong numbers: the second-highest yardage total in a season (and the ninth) as well as the fifth-highest per game passing yard average. He won two Grey Cup titles as a player.
So, what’s Austin missing? Personal accolades like Most Outstanding Player awards and all-star nods, which are also taken into account. During Austin’s four of five best seasons from 1990 to 1994, he was bested for those honours by fellow quarterback Doug Flutie, considered one of the best players in the history of the game.