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Cyril Pinder, whose career as an Illinois running back prematurely ended as a result of the athletic department's 1960s slush fund scandal, has died at age 74. The Illini football Twitter account announced Pinder's death Saturday.

Pinder played for Illinois during its 1966 and 1967 seasons, amassing 92 carries for 434 yards and five touchdowns. Pinder also won the 55-meter race in the 1966 Big Ten indoor championships, clocking 6.2 seconds.

In March 1967, Pinder and four other Illini athletes were ruled permanently ineligible by the Big Ten for their role in the slush fund scandal. Pinder was discovered to be receiving $500 annually for travel.

Pinder went on to be selected 39th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1968 NFL Draft. He spent three years with that team, two with the Chicago Bears and one with the Dallas Cowboys, posting 1,709 rushing yards and seven touchdowns across those seasons.

Colin Likas covers Illinois football and high school sports at The News-Gazette. He can be reached at clikas@news-gazette.com, or on Twitter at @clikasNG.

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Colin Likas covers Illinois football and high school sports at The News-Gazette. His email is clikas@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).

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