The mess created by the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame over its nomination and subsequent about-face concerning the induction of Nobby Clark in the Hall of Fame keeps growing. Noted motojournalist and Hall of Famer Dave Despain has returned his HoF medal in protest, as has Hall of Famer legend Dick Mann. Hall of Fame committee member Charles Falco sent us the following email expressing his concern over the affair and his interpretation of matters. Charles Falco’s email follows:
Dear Fellow Motorcyclists,
Following are emails I sent over the past two days to Jeffrey Heininger, Chair of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation (AMHF). In light of continued silence from the AMHF/AMA, I felt it important that as many interested people as possible were made aware of their disgraceful action in the matter of Nobby Clark's induction into the Hall of Fame in the hopes additional pressure is applied on them to reverse it. In case you are unaware, within the last 18 hours both Dick Mann and Dave Despain have returned their Hall of Fame medallions and insisted on having their names removed from the rolls.
If you want to express your opinion to the Chairs of the AMHF (Jeff Heininger) and the AMA (Stan Simpson), you can reach them at:
From: Falco, Charles M - (falco) [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2012 11:24 AM
Subject: RE: The Hall of Fame election process
Dear Mr. Heininger,
Although I have yet to hear back from you, I have carefully reviewed the official process for selecting inductees, which I have copied below for your convenience. As far as I am aware, all of these steps were followed this year, and in previous years. If these steps were not followed, the entire process is in question, and all inductions should be postponed until the Balloting Committee can thoroughly investigate and affirm the integrity of the process.
Importantly, the last paragraph clearly states the _final_ selection is made by ballot. There is no provision for anyone to be deselected -- especially by one or more anonymous people behind closed doors -- after balloting has democratically determined they should be included. Because of this, my reading of the official procedure is that if you were to deselect Nobby Clark, as you claim you have done in the press release issued two weeks ago, it would be in violation of the official process, and thus this attempted action is void.
Again, if there is a question about this year's process, then there is a question about _all_ years' processes. If this is the case, an outside investigation by disinterested parties must be initiated to look into all aspects, down to the level of how the ballots are counted, and by whom.
I urge you to immediately contact Nobby Clark to apologize for this entire matter, and to at the same time issue a press release reinstating his selection and taking responsibility for this grievous mistake. The damage to the HoF's reputation will only continue to grow until this is done. Again, I am bcc'ing this to a number of interested people.
ProcessMotorcyclists are submitted for consideration for election to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, and become Applicants.
Applicants who meet the minimum criteria for consideration, as determined by the appropriate Hall of Fame committee, become Candidates. The committees include more than 70 industry experts who represent the eight categories in which people can be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Every year, each Hall of Fame Category Committee considers the pool of candidates and chooses which names should be forwarded to the balloting committee. The number of candidates forwarded is up to the Category Committee.
Candidates are forwarded to the Balloting Committee (made up of the chairs of each committee, the chairmen of the AMHF and AMA boards and the President/CEO of the AMA).
Candidates selected by the Balloting Committee become the year's Nominees, which are announced publicly. The Balloting Committee also determines the number of nominees and the number of slots on the ballot available each year.
The final Hall of Fame Inductee Class is determined by ballot voting by current living Hall of Fame members, members of the AMA and AMHF Boards, members of the Category Committees, and selected other invited persons. The total number of voters is more than 250.