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#pounditFriday, March 24, 2023

Ex-USC Heisman Trophy winner Charles White dies at 64

Charles White in a USC uniform

Nov 25, 1977; Los Angeles, CA, USA: FILE PHOTO; Southern California running back Charles White (12) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Long Photography-USA TODAY Sports

Former USC football legend Charles White died on Wednesday in Newport Beach, Calif. at the age of 64, the school announced. White had been battling liver cancer.

The former running back was a standout for the Trojans from 1976-1979. He rushed for 6,245 yards during his career, which remains a school record. He led the NCAA in carries and yards in both 1978 and 1979. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1979 and was named the Rose Bowl Player of the Game at the end of both seasons.

White spent the last few years of his life in an assisted living facility, according to the Los Angeles Times. He had been affected by dementia, which many believe was caused by all the collisions from his playing days.

After his time at USC, White became a first-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in 1980. However, he was a disappointment with the Browns and ended up signing with the Los Angeles Rams in 1985, who were coached by his college coach, John Robinson.

White’s only standout season in the NFL came in 1987 with the Rams when he rushed for 1,374 yards on 324 carries, scoring 11 touchdowns, all of which were league-high marks.

White struggled with drug addiction during his pro career and afterwards, when he tried to go into coaching at USC.

White is survived by his five children.

In addition to being a football star, White was a high school track star at San Fernando in the Los Angeles area.


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