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Topic: Why isn’t Bennie Cunningham in the Ring of Honor?
Replies: 16   Last Post: Nov 2, 2020, 5:37 PM by: Jenny1hill
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Replies: 16  

Why isn’t Bennie Cunningham in the Ring of Honor?

emoji_events [8]
Posted: Nov 1, 2020, 9:53 PM
 

Just read Tim Bourret’s article on Bennie Cunningham.

He was a 2x time first team All American. The first Clemson African American athlete in any sport to earn All American honors. The only tight end selected for the ACC’s 50-year anniversary team.

I think that’s good enough for Ring Of Honor induction Spiller, Watson and Wilkins are my choices from the “modern” era. Obviously a couple of guys on the current team should be shoe-ins as well when the time comes.

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Only thing I can come up with is Clemson was not great

[1]
Posted: Nov 1, 2020, 10:09 PM
 

back then. I think we were 18-26 in his years at Clemson. Even though the ring of honor should be an individual thing, I believe team success does carry some weight.

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That's the main reason - players in the ROH........


Posted: Nov 2, 2020, 9:19 AM
 

are guys that made a major contribution to the success of our overall football program - guys who raised it to the next level with major successful results. I remember watching how good Bennie was and he was one of my favorites and then later with the Steelers. But our program when he played wasn't very good.

That's just reality. The ROH is for the elite of the elite, otherwise every All-American, etc. would be in it which wouldn't make sense. Players who made a major difference (CJ, DW, TL, CW, etc.) are ROH-level players.

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Re: Why isn’t Bennie Cunningham in the Ring of Honor?

[4]
Posted: Nov 1, 2020, 10:24 PM
 

I think he should be! He was a great player.

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Re: Why isn’t Bennie Cunningham in the Ring of Honor?

[1]
Posted: Nov 1, 2020, 10:43 PM
 

Maybe it's something simple and stupid. One of the requirements was having earned a Clemson degree. It wasn't unusual for an athlete to not graduate. I believe Bennie's major was secondary education and he could have finished that at many schools. Bernie's was a great Tiger and a great Steeler.

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If it is anything, it may be not finishing his degree

[1]
Posted: Nov 1, 2020, 11:11 PM
 

but for some reason, I thought that he did finish after he retired from the Steelers. Also, doesn't the Ring of Honor require a nomination? What if no one has thought to nominate him...

I am going to try to reach out to his brother and see about the degree...

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Bennie was the Best Tight End to ever play at Clemson

[4]
Posted: Nov 1, 2020, 11:17 PM
 

And by a fairly wide margin!

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He was a dominating player, a real force at TE in that era.

[3]
Posted: Nov 1, 2020, 11:47 PM
 

In an era when defenses were geared to stop the run, LBs that were big enough to tackle him were way to slow to cover him. And he would knock 180 lb DBs out of the way or drag them all over the field. He was big, fast, athletic, and had great hands to boot. The best.

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"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
- H. L. Mencken


Re: He was a dominating player, a real force at TE in that era.

[1]
Posted: Nov 2, 2020, 12:33 AM
 

I am fairly certain that Bennie came back and earned his Clemson degree. After his playing years were over, a friend was a teacher in the Anderson school system and told me about Bennie coming to his school and practice teaching, a requirement for his degree.

Big Bennie certainly deserves ROH consideration.

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Bennie did get his degree


Posted: Nov 2, 2020, 7:36 AM
 

We were in the same graduation ceremony in 1979.

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No, the requirement does not require a Clemson degree.....


Posted: Nov 2, 2020, 9:22 AM
 

it requires a degree from an accredited 4-year college - doesn't have to be from Clemson.

That's why from what I understand Jim Phillips isn't in the ROH as the longtime Voice of the Tigers. He didn't have a 4-year college degree.

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An obvious oversight. It should be corrected.***


Posted: Nov 2, 2020, 7:17 AM
 



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Amen. I totally agree


Posted: Nov 2, 2020, 7:32 AM
 

The article the OP referenced stated he had a degree
he used to work in schools in the upstate.

https://clemsontigers.com/bennie-cunningham/


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That's a great point. BC was my first favorite Clemson


Posted: Nov 2, 2020, 9:06 AM
 

player. I didn't realize he was a 2-time first teamer...

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Bennie Cunningham - best TE ever in ACC


Posted: Nov 2, 2020, 5:35 PM
 

I still remember him carrying 4-5 defenders down the field numerous times. He was a beast.

He also was fantastic with the Steelers.

WHAT A PLAYER

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Re: Why isn’t Bennie Cunningham in the Ring of Honor?


Posted: Nov 2, 2020, 5:37 PM
 

Dropped to many passes at Clemson

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Re: Why isn’t Bennie Cunningham in the Ring of Honor?


Posted: Nov 2, 2020, 5:37 PM
 

Dropped to many passes at Clemson

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