Rose Bowl memories: Charlie White

Legendary Southern California area sportswriter Loel Schrader, who was inducted into the USC Hall of Fame in 2006, shares his Rose Bowl memories of former USC running back Charlie White.

It was my favorite post-game moment of any of my 40 Rose Bowls.

USC tailback Charlie White clearly fumbled as he soared toward the goal-line in a 17-10 victory over Michigan in the 1979 Rose Bowl.

But a Big Ten official working the game ruled White had scored a touchdown.

I was so anxious to talk to White that I left the Rose Bowl press box midway in the fourth quarter and made certain I would be first in the door when the USC locker room was opened to the media.

As the Trojans exited the field, I ran right with them and managed to get into the locker room before it was officially opened for reporters.

I found White seated on a chair, just sort of catching his breath before removing his uniform and showering.

``Charlie, did you fumble before you got the ball over the goal-line?'' I asked.

White shook his head, showing no signs of indecision.

``No, you only have to get the ball to the goal-line,'' he said. ``I was flying through the air and looked down. I saw I was over the goal-line, so I just dropped the ball.''

Asked if he intended to stick with that story, White replied: ``Until the day I die.''

A quarter of century later, I asked White the same question I put to him in the Rose Bowl locker room.

White laughed, then said: ``I've seen film since then and it's clear I wasn't over the goal-line when I fumbled.''

Charlie White, one of the walking dead.


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