Green finally inducted into hall of fame

Published 11:56 pm Tuesday, September 1, 2009

JACKSON — It took awhile, but Natchez native Hugh Green is finally permanently in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame board voted to include Green at its August board meeting last week.

“The board discussed it for a bit and then decided to put him in the class of 2009,” Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum Executive Director Michael Rubenstein said. “There’s not a whole lot to it. I think everybody is happy to put this behind us now.”

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Green could not be reached for comment.

Green was originally to be inducted into the class of 2009 at the Hall of Fame’s July 31 induction ceremony, but Green unexpectedly did not attend.

Rubenstein said at the time that since Green did not attend his induction ceremony, he was never inducted and therefore not a member of the Hall of Fame.

Six days after the ceremony, Green issued a letter of apology through Jackson attorney Wayne Ferrell and said he missed the ceremony because of a miscommunication between him and a scheduled off-duty law enforcement officer who was supposed to drive Green from Natchez to Jackson.

“I am embarrassed, and I hope that my absence did not distract from honoring the other selectees,” Green is quoted as saying in the statement. “I made a planning mistake in my arrangements to attend the banquet. I feel extremely honored to have been selected for induction into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. I believe selection to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame is an honor of the highest order.”

Green was a three-time All-American defensive lineman at the University of Pittsburgh and won the Lombardi Trophy — signifying the nation’s best lineman — following his senior season in 1980.

He also finished second in the 1980 Heisman Trophy voting, the highest finish ever for a purely defensive player.

Green then played 10 years in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins, being selected to the Pro Bowl in 1982 and 1983.

Green is the first Natchez native to be inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.