Marvin Cobb

Marvin Cobb
No. 24
Position: Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1953-08-06) August 6, 1953
Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan
Career information
College: USC
NFL Draft: 1975 / Round: 11 / Pick: 276
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions: 13
INT yards: 240
Touchdowns: 1
Player stats at

Marvin Lawrence Cobb (born August 6, 1953) is a former American football safety in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 11th round of the 1975 NFL Draft.[1] He played high school football at Notre Dame High School in Riverside, California and college football at USC, where he also played shortstop on the baseball team.[1][2] With USC, Cobb played on 2 College World Series champion baseball teams (1973 and 1974) and 2 National Champion football teams (1972 and 1974).[2]

Cobb played 5 seasons for the Bengals, from 1975 to 1979. During those five years he played in 71 games, starting 54 and making 13 interceptions, playing as both a free safety and strong safety.[1] He also served as a kick returner occasionally, returning five punts and one kickoff between 1975 and 1977.[1] In 1977 he also got to play a little on offense. In a game against the San Diego Chargers on October 2, Cobb threw an incomplete pass.[3] In a Monday Night Football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 17, Cobb got one rushing attempt but did not gain any yardage.[4] Cobb also played for the Steelers and Minnesota Vikings, splitting eight games between the two teams in 1980.[1] He also served as a kick returner for the Steelers.[1]

In 1986, Cobb became an assistant athletic director at USC.[5] Cobb was outspoken about the fact that black athletes at USC were graduating at a lower rate than white students and he did not see anything being done to assist those students.[5] After Cobb was denied a promotion in 1990 or 1991, he sued the university for racial discrimination and breach of contract, saying that the university denied the promotion because his advocacy for its black athletes.[5][6][7] USC was represented by Johnnie Cochran, who later represented O.J. Simpson in his murder trial and in a turn of events similar to an issue in that trial, it was revealed that some USC employees had suggested framing Cobb for a fake drug bust.[7] Cobb was eventually awarded $1.1 million.[5]

Cobb has also been active in raising awareness of the impact football injuries can have on players later in life.[8] He has also been active in attempting to increase pension and medical benefits for former players.[9] He became a director of the Independent Retired Players Summit.[8][9] He is also president of the Retired NFL Players Congress.[10]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Marvin Cobb". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  2. 1 2 Leach, B. "Never Make the Same Mistake Once: Remembering USC Baseball Coach Rod Dedeaux". SABR. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  3. "Cincinnati Bengals 3 at San Diego Chargers 24 Sunday, October 2, 1977". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  4. "Cincinnati Bengals 14 at Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Monday, October 17, 1977". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Elder, L. (2003). Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America. Macmillan. pp. 170–171. ISBN 9780312320171.
  6. "Appellate Court Supports USC Suit". Associated Press. May 27, 1998. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  7. 1 2 Keil, B.L. & Mitchell, D. (February 17, 1997). "Johnnie Cochran Plays the Field". New York Magazine. p. 11. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  8. 1 2 Nagel, K. & Morrison, J. (May 19, 2012). "NFL retirees struggle with injuries, financial woes". Cox Media Group. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  9. 1 2 "Marvin Cobb, Steelers Safety, 1980 and Independent Retired Players Summit Director". Pittsburgh Sports Daily Bulletin. May 31, 1992. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  10. Roberts, T. (May 30, 2014). "Retired NFL Players Congress Meets in Arlington". Retrieved 2015-09-10.
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