Charles White, Heisman Trophy winner with a tricky second act, dies at 64

Charles White, a dynamic man for USC who set the college’s profession file for dashing yards and gained the 1979 Heisman Award, died Wednesday in Newport Seashore, Calif., on the age of 64.

His director of care and ex-wife Judian White Bach stated he died in hospital as esophageal most cancers.

White, who performed eight seasons within the NFL, was a part of a USC dynasty of elite operating backs, 4 of whom additionally gained the Heisman Trophy: Marcus Allen, OJ Simpson, Mike Garrett, and Reggie Bush. White’s 6,245 dashing yards surpasses the 4,810 yards gained by Allen, who ranks second on USC’s all-time record.

White wasn’t significantly massive or quick; As a substitute of dribbling away from the defenders, he pushed his approach by means of them. And he was an enormous: In 1978, he rushed 374 instances (65 instances greater than anybody else within the increased ranks of the NCAA) for 1,859 yards. The next 12 months, he ran for the 2050.

The entire hitting he took in highschool, at USC and within the NFL took a bodily toll within the cumulative whack to the top. Ms White Bash stated he was recognized in 2012 with dementia, a symptom of continual traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative mind illness linked to repeated head trauma however which may solely be recognized postmortem.

“Instantly, every thing made sense,” she stated in a cellphone interview.

Mrs. White Bash donated her ex-husband’s mind to the CTE Middle at Boston College to find out if he had CTE.

Ms. White Bash stated it was potential he used cocaine and alcohol to deal with signs of a mind damage. “Everybody was concentrating on him,” she stated, within the area. “And he hit as exhausting because the hits he was taking.”

In 1987, whereas taking part in for the Los Angeles Rams, White was accused of being beneath the affect of a managed substance, believed to be cocaine, for which he was handled in a month-long program in 1982 whereas with the Browns. In 1988, he was suspended for 30 days by the NFL for utilizing alcohol, a violation of the league drug program he had entered when he was caught.

Charles Raymond White was born on January 22, 1958, in Los Angeles and raised by his grandmother, Bertha Leggett. He was recruited from San Fernando Excessive College to USC and led the staff in dashing in 1977, 1978, and 1979.

Within the Rose Bowl after the 1978 common season, White scored the decisive landing on a contested play from Michigan’s 3-yard line within the second quarter. He touched the ball earlier than it reached the aim line. The referee indicated that Michigan had the ball, however the line decide known as it a landing; Then the road assistant reaffirmed that it was a end result.

The landing prolonged USC’s result in 14-3, which held out in a 17-10 win, and the college was named the Faculty Soccer Playoff Champion in a ballot of 35 coaches.

White was glowing within the subsequent 12 months’s Rose Bowl sport towards Ohio State. He rushed for 247 yards on 39 carries and scored the successful landing with 1 minute and 32 seconds left within the sport, lifting USC to a 17-16 win.

“Charlie White is the perfect soccer participant I’ve ever seen,” USC head coach John Robinson stated after the sport. “If you happen to do not consider me, simply return and have a look at the fourth quarter. His dominance was absolute. He is the best competitor I’ve ever seen.”

White was chosen by the Cleveland Browns within the first spherical of the NFL Draft in 1980, however in 4 seasons, he by no means rushed for greater than 342 yards. After being launched by the Browns, he was signed by the Rams, who have been then coached by Robinson, for the 1985 season.

His first two seasons with the Rams have been uneventful, however he was superb in 1987, carrying the ball 324 instances for a league-leading 1,374 yards and 11 touchdowns. Nevertheless, the season was marred by a 24-day gamers’ strike, throughout which matches have been performed largely by non-union replacements for 3 weeks. White was amongst a bunch of gamers who crossed the guild picket traces.

The 1988 season started as he served a four-match suspension and by no means regained his beginning job. He gained solely 323 yards that 12 months, and Greg Bell led the Rams with 1,212 dashing yards.

White retired after the season and spent the subsequent 20 years at USC as a particular assistant to athletic director Mike McGee; Soccer staff coach. And as a college administrator. Ms White Bash stated that in that point he was utilizing alcohol however not cocaine.

He stated that in 2000 he offered his Heisman Trophy for $184,000 to settle tax money owed.

Along with Mrs. White Bash, he’s survived by their daughters Nicole, Tara, and Sophia White. Their two sons are Julian and Ashton. and their granddaughter, Giovanna Heymen, with whom he was shut.

White was the topic of a profile in The Los Angeles Instances final 12 months during which columnist Invoice Plaschke described his quiet life in an supported residing facility.

“He is aware of he’s Charles White and he is aware of what he achieved for his beloved college,” Mr. Blaschke wrote, and is then quoted as saying, “I do know I as soon as did one thing good, one thing nice, one thing nice for USC.”

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