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Sam Cunningham, Who Starred at USC and in NFL, Dies at 71

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LOS ANGELES—Sam “Bam” Cunningham, an All-American fullback at Southern California who went on to a record-setting career with the New England Patriots, died Tuesday. He was 71. He died at his home in Inglewood, according to the University of Souther California (USC), which spoke to his wife, Cine. She said the cause had yet to be determined. Cunningham’s younger brother, Randall, starred as a quarterback in the NFL for 16 years. As a sophomore in 1970 under coach John McKay, Cunningham was part of USC’s all-black backfield, along with quarterback Jimmy Jones and running back Clarence Davis, which was the first of its kind in Division I. Cunningham ran for 135 yards on 12 carries and scored two touchdowns in his collegiate debut as the Trojans routed Alabama 42–21 at Legion Field in Birmingham to open that season. His performance was credited with having influenced the university and coach Bear Bryant …

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