PHILADELPHIA — Irv Cross, the former Pro Bowl defensive back who became the first Black man to work complete time as a sports analyst on national tv with CBS, died Sunday.
The Philadelphia Eagles, with whom Cross spent among his nine NFL seasons,” stated Cross’ son, Matthew, supported his dad died near his house in Roseville, Minnesota. The reason for death wasn’t provided.
“We all in CBS Sports are saddened by the news of Irv Cross’ passing,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said in a statement. “Irv was a pioneer who made considerable contributions into the storied history and heritage of CBS Sports as well as together with Phyllis George and Brent Musburger, set the benchmark for NFL pregame shows with THE NFL TODAY.
“He was a real gentleman and a trailblazer in the sport television business and also will be remembered for his achievements and the avenues he modeled for people who followed.”
Cross spent 23 years in CBS and won the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award in 2009. He was the first Black receiver of this yearly award, which attempts to comprehend”longtime excellent contributions to radio and tv in soccer.”
In addition, he averaged 27.9 yards on kickoff returns and returned punts.
He joined CBS after retiring in the match, covering many sports before teaming up with Musburger, George and Jimmy”The Greek” Snyder on”The NFL Today” in 1975. The app broke a number of barriers, such as featuring the very first woman network sports series anchor in George. It was the very first live pregame show.
Cross left the community in 1994 and served as athletic director at Idaho State and at Macalester College in Minnesota.
Musburger known as Cross”among the best gentleman I have been with” in a statement posted on Twitter on Sunday.
“nobody ever had a bad thing to mention about Irv,” Musburger wrote. “He led the way for African Americans to sponsor NFL and other sports displays.