Traditions


    C. R. Roberts

    C. R. Roberts, an explosive fullback, led the USC Trojans to a 44-20 victory over Texas in Austin during the 1956 season. It was the first time a black player competed against a white player in that state.

    Roberts rushed for 251 yards in only 12 minutes. The fullback was cheered as he left the field.

    Years later, in 1970, another Trojan black running back and his teammates would make similar social history in Birmingham, Ala. Fullback Sam Cunningham, quarterback Jimmy Jones and receiver Lynn Swann were among the stars in a 41-21 rout of Alabama.

    Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant was so enamored of Cunningham, who pounded the Tide all afternoon, that he asked Trojan coach John McKay after the game if he could borrow the 6-foot-3, 230-pound fullback.

    The Bear took Cunningham to the Alabama dressing room and told his team that this was what a football player looked like.

    Southern football was changed forever.