RETIRED: Flanker BOBBY MITCHELL, 34, of the Washington Redskins, to a front-office personnel job. Mitchell was an All-America running back at Illinois before joining Jimmy Brown in Cleveland's Mr. Outside-Mr. Inside backfield. He was traded to the Redskins in 1961 and promptly led the NFL in pass receiving. In his 11-year career as a pro, Mitchell accounted for almost exactly eight miles (14,078 yards) rushing, catching passes and returning kicks, second only to Brown in league history, and also ranks second to Ray Berry of Baltimore with 521 pass receptions for 7,954 yards.
DIED: HELEN SOBEL SMITH, 59, who as Helen Sobel played the best bridge of any woman in the world for 35 years and was Charles Goren's favorite partner, of cancer, in Detroit (page 96).
DIED: HEC KILREA, 61, member of the 1936 and 1937 Stanley Cup-winning Detroit Red Wings. He played in the National Hockey League from 1927 through 1939 with Ottawa, Toronto and Detroit. A naturalized American, he won the Distinguished Service Cross and Croix de Guerre in World War II.
DIED: FRANK BUNCOM, 29, Cincinnati Bengal linebacker, of a heart attack in his hotel room Sunday morning before the team's regular-season home opener. Buncom, a former USC tackle and San Diego's sixth-round draft choice in 1961, was All-AFL for the Chargers in 1967 and was drafted by Cincy in 1968. He left a wife and son.
DIED: JOHN BENINGTON, 47, basketball coach at Michigan State and father of nine children, from his second heart attack in five months, in the coaches' locker room in MSU's Jenison Gymnasium. Benington played football and basketball at the University of San Francisco and was captain of the 1949 USF basketball team that won the National Invitation Tournament. He began his career as a head coach at Drake in 1956 and later moved to St. Louis, where his Billikens earned five NIT berths and a 118-71 record. His record at Michigan State was 56-38, and the Spartans tied for the Big Ten title in 1967.