Sam Cunningham, USC football great who became New England Patriots’ all-time leading rusher, dies at 71
Former USC and New England Patriots fullback Sam “Bam” Cunningham died Tuesday at his home in Inglewood, California, according to USC. Sale 12 Brady Tom NFL Jerseys, He was 71 Sale New England Patriots NFL Jerseys, .
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Cunningham, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1992, is widely recognized for helping speed up the process of integration in football programs across the Sou Cheap Stitched NFL authentic jerseys, th. Cunningham ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns as USC beat an all-white Alabama team to open the 1970 season. That performance, coupled with those of his Black teammates, was pivotal in Alabama coach Bear Bryant’s decision to recruit Black players.
“What they saw was the future,” Cunningham told ESPN in 2016. “Their team was eventually going to be integrated.”
In 1971, Alabama had Black players on scholarship for the first time and played for the national title. However, the Crimson Tide were routed 38-6 by Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. But the decade became a standout era for Bryant and the Crimson Tide as they went on to win three national championships.
Jerry Claiborne, a former Bryant assistant, famously said, “Sam Cunningham did more to integrate Alabama in 60 minutes than Martin Luther King did in 20 years.”
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