Football   
    Sam Cunningham versus Alabama in 1970.
    Sam Cunningham versus Alabama in 1970.

    Feb. 12, 2007

    "Turning of the Tide: Diversity and College Athletics," a panel discussion moderated by USC head football coach Pete Carroll and featuring former Trojan players Sam Cunningham and John Papadakis and USC professor Todd Boyd, will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in USC's Bovard Auditorium.

    The discussion, a signature event of "Visions and Voices: The USC Arts and Humanities Initiative," is free for USC students (RSVP at www.usc.edu/visionandvoices) and $15 for USC faculty, staff and alumni (call the USC Ticket Office at 213-740-GOSC).

    The event celebrates the publication of "Turning of the Tide: How One Game Changed the South," co-authored by Cunningham and Papadakis along with Sports Illustrated writer Don Yeager. The book is about the 1970 USC-Alabama football game that brought an end to segregation in college football. The game, in which both Cunningham and Papadakis played, marked an important moment not only in USC history, but in the realm of American sports and civil rights.

    Following video highlights from the game, Carroll will moderate a discussion with Cunningham, Papadakis and Boyd about USC's pivotal role in promoting diversity and equality in college sports. A question-and-answer session will be included, followed by a reception and book signing.

    Cunningham, a 1972 All-American fullback at USC, had a 135-yard, 2-touchdown outing in the Trojans' 42-21 victory over Alabama in Birmingham in 1970. His performance as an African-American athlete is said to have helped convince Alabama head coach Bear Bryant to integrate Southern football. Known as "Sam Bam" because of his famous goal line dives for touchdowns, he ran for 1,579 yards in his USC career, was MVP of the 1973 Rose Bowl and played nine seasons with the NFL's New England Patriots. He currently owns a landscaping business in Southern California.

    Papadakis, USC's Most Inspirational Player in 1971, was a linebacker on that 1970 Trojan squad. His sons, Taso and Petros, played football at USC in the 1990s. He owns Papadakis Taverna in San Pedro, a renowned Greek restaurant.

    Boyd, a prominent media commentator, is a critical studies professor in the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he specializes in the study of race and popular culture. Among his books: Young, Black, Rich, and Famous: The Rise of the NBA, the Hip Hop Invasion, and the Transformation of American Culture; The New H.N.I.C: The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip Hop; and Am I Black Enough For You?: Popular Culture from the 'Hood and Beyond. He also was a producer and co-writer on the film, The Wood.

    Carroll is the winningest active coach in NCAA Division I football, with a 65-12 (84.4%) record in his six years at USC. Since 2002, he has guided the Trojans to five AP Top 4 finishes (including national championships in 2003 and 2004), a record five BCS bowl appearances, an unprecedented five Pac-10 championships and five seasons with at least 11 victories.

    More information on "Turning of the Tide: Diversity and College Athletics"-co-hosted by USC provost C.L. Max Nikias and USC athletic director Mike Garrett-is available at www.usc.edu/visionsandvoices or by calling (213) 740-6786 or emailing at visionsandvoices@usc.edu.