Miles Brand dies at 67

INDIANAPOLIS - Myles Brand, who fired Bob Knight as Indiana University basketball coach and went on to become NCAA president, died Wednesday of pancreatic cancer. He was 67.

The first former university president to run college sports' largest governing body, Brand worked to change the perception that wins supersede academics and earned accolades for his efforts.

Brand broke the news that he had cancer in January at the NCAA convention and continued to handle the organization's day-to-day operations, despite undergoing treatment. NCAA officials, who announced his death, were not ready to say who would replace Brand or when they may begin searching for a successor.

"Myles Brand's passing is a great personal loss of a dear friend and an even greater loss to the NCAA and collegiate athletics," said Georgia president Michael Adams, who worked closely with Brand. "I believe Myles will be remembered as a person who helped us refocus on the student in student-athlete and his academic reforms will long outlive him."

After his term began in January 2003, Brand pushed for tougher eligibility standards for incoming freshman and current students. Eventually, the NCAA adopted two new academic measures, the Academic Progress Report and the Graduation Success Rate - calculations that provide real-time statistics on how athletes are performing in the classroom.

Miss. St. player takes plea deal, joins team. Mississippi State will allow Maurice Langston to join the team after the defensive back took a plea deal following his arrest for marijuana possession.

Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen issued a statement noting that Langston has done everything asked of him since his arrest for possession of about a pound of marijuana with intent to distribute in February in Hattiesburg.

Langston, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound Meridian native who played at East Central Mississippi Community College, could have faced up to 20 years in prison and a $30,000 fine if convicted on the original charge. But Weathers felt Langston was a good risk.

Saban: Jones, Upchurch improving from injuries. Alabama coach Nick Saban says injured tailback Roy Upchurch and receiver Julio Jones have made significant improvement.

Upchurch sustained a high ankle sprain on the opening series against Florida International. Jones bruised his right knee early in the game.

Saban said he does not know yet if either will play Saturday against North Texas. He said he will know more about their status after seeing how sore they are following Thursday's practice.

Tar Heels lose Dyer from offensive line. North Carolina center Lowell Dyer and tight end Zack Pianalto are both expected to miss at least three weeks while rehabbing from injuries.

Dyer strained a muscle in his shoulder during practice last week and sat out of the weekend win at Connecticut.

Pianalto dislocated his right foot while celebrating after scoring the tying touchdown in the final minutes against the Huskies.

The No. 24 Tar Heels play host to East Carolina on Saturday.