Sam Cunningham Named To College Football Hall Of Fame

May 27, 2010

Former USC All-American fullback Sam 'Bam' Cunningham, whose performance in USC's 1970 win at Alabama helped integrate Southern football and whose 4-touchdown outing in the 1973 Rose Bowl earned him Player of the Game honors, has been named to the 14-member 2010 Football Bowl Subdivision Class of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Cunningham will be inducted at a Dec. 7 dinner in New York City and then enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame in ceremonies in the summer of 2011 in South Bend, Ind.

He is the 37th Trojan, including 29 players, in the College Football Hall of Fame. A Trojan has been elected into the Hall in 9 of the past 11 years.

Cunningham's 2010 classmates include 11 others players--defensive tackle Dennis Byrd of North Carolina State (1964-67), center Ronnie Caveness of Arkansas (1962-64), defensive lineman Ray Childress of Texas A&M (1981-84), offensive guard Randy Cross of UCLA (1973-75), quarterback Mark Herrmann of Purdue (1977-80), wide receiver Clarkston Hines of duke (1986-89), wide receiver Desmond Howard of Michigan (1989-91), defensive back Chet Moeller of Navy (1973-75), halfback Jerry Stovall of LSU (1960-62), linebacker Pat Tillman of Arizona State (1994-97) and linebacker Alfred Williams of Colorado (1987-90)--along with 2 coaches: Barry Alvarez of Wisconsin (1990-2005) and Gene Stallings of Texas A&M (1965-71) and Alabama (1990-96).

Cunningham, a 3-year (1970-72) letterman at USC, earned All-American honors in 1972 while captaining the Trojans to the national championship that season. He was Troy's Backof the Year that season. He rushed for 1,579 yards and 23 touchdowns in his career (including 13 TDs in 1972) and added 34 receptions for 293 yards and 2 scores.

As a sophomore in 1970, his 135-yard, 2-TD debut performance in the Trojans' season-opening 42-21 victory over Alabama in Birmingham provided a catalyst for the integration of college football in the South.

Cunningham's 4 short goal line dives against Ohio State in the 1973 Rose Bowl earned him game MVP honors and he was later inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1992.

He played in the 1973 Hula Bowl, College All-Star Game and Coaches All-America Game.

He was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.

Drafted 11th overall in the 1973 NFL Draft's first round by the New England, he played 9 seasons for the Patriots. He was named to the AFC Pro Bowl team in 1978.

Cunningham currently works as a landscape contractor in Inglewood, Calif.