Former Notre Dame all-America and Detroit Lions running back Nick Pietrosante died in Detroit after a long bout with cancer. He was 50.

Pietrosante was the Lions' No. 1 draft choice in 1959 and was the NFL rookie of the year that season. He went on to play seven seasons with Detroit and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1961 and 1962. He was traded in 1966 to the Cleveland Browns, for whom he played two more seasons before retiring to enter private business in the Detroit suburbs.

When he retired from the NFL, Pietrosante was the Lions' all-time rushing leader with 3,933 yards, a record that has since been broken by several players.

He is survived by his wife, Geraldine, two daughters, a son, his parents and a brother . . .

Barclay Plager, 46, a defenseman who played in 614 games for the St. Louis Blues and then twice served as coach of the National Hockey League team, died in St. Louis after a long fight against brain cancer.

Plager, an assistant coach at the time of his death, played his entire NHL career with St. Louis. A four-time participant in the all-star game, he scored 44 goals and had 187 assists in his career.

He is survived by his wife, Helen, and four children.