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By Jake Russell Jake Russell Sports news aide Email Bio Follow July 5 at 9:02 PM The Pro Football Hall of Fame is close to approving a proposal that would allow 20 inductees into its hallowed halls in 2020 as part of the NFL’s 100th anniversary cele

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is close to approving a proposal that would allow 20 inductees into its hallowed halls in 2020 as part of the NFL’s 100th anniversary celebration.

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On Aug. 2, the hall’s 29 board of trustees are expected to discuss and vote on a proposal that would expand the number of inductees for the coming year. There is a “high likelihood” that the proposal will be approved, Pro Football Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker said in a phone interview with The Washington Post on Friday

Baker previously discussed the proposal on SiriusXM radio earlier this week. To move forward, the measure would need the approval of at least 15 trustees

Twenty inductees would be a one-time occurrence, limited to the 2020 Hall of Fame class, Baker said. Hall of Fame bylaws currently indicate that four to eight candidates are selected each year, and Baker said he likes that figure

“As [former Pro Football Hall of Fame executive director and historian] Joe Horrigan says, ‘It’s not the hall of very, very good. It’s the Hall of Fame,’ ” Baker said. “And it should be difficult to make it into the Hall of Fame.”

The proposed breakdown of 2020 honorees would likely feature 10 senior nominees, five modern-era players, three contributors and two coaches. While nothing is finalized, Baker said the 2020 festivities would include the Hall of Fame Game on July 30, a gold jacket dinner on July 31, one enshrinement ceremony on Aug. 1, and then another enshrinement ceremony around the league’s 100th birthday on Sept. 17

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With seven to eight members are typically inducted each year, the length of the speeches given by both the presenters and inductees has recently become of a topic of discussion. Baker says this new proposal will give the Hall of Fame a chance to tinker with how the ceremony will be presented

“This is a real opportunity for us to take a look at how we’ve done things and say, ‘Hey, how can we do it better?’ ” Baker said

The idea of more inductees, which has been discussed for more than a year, was first presented by Dallas-based sportswriter and Hall of Fame voter Rick Gosselin. There was a pitch for 17 inductees — a throwback to the size of the Hall’s inaugural class of 1963 — but the Hall’s staff, along with feedback from members of the selection committee, eventually agreed that 20 would be a good number, Baker said. It would both coincide with the 2020 class and help clear up a logjam of talented players, coaches and contributors who have yet to be recognized with a bronze bust

Former Washington Redskins left tackle Joe Jacoby could be one of the beneficiaries of this proposal. Arguably the best player on the Redskins’ famed offensive line of the 1980s and 1990s known as “The Hogs,” Jacoby was eligible for two decades but has not been voted as a Hall of Famer. Now his only chance to wear the prestigious gold jacket is by being selected as a senior nominee

The Hall of Fame currently has 326 members, including those in the class of 2019. This year’s class includes cornerback Champ Bailey, contributor Pat Bowlen, contributor Gil Brandt, tight end Tony Gonzalez, cornerback Ty Law, center Kevin Mawae, safety Ed Reed and safety Johnny Robinson

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Jake Russell Jake Russell has been a sports news aide and blogger with the Washington Post since 2013. His book “100 Things Nationals Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die” was published in 2016. Follow

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