July 3, 2004

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Carl James, the former Big Eight commissioner and Duke and Maryland athletic director, died Saturday. He was 75.

James died at his home in Cornelius after fighting skin cancer for the past year, said Chris Theisen, a spokesman for the Big 12 Conference, the successor of the Big Eight.

James, a Raleigh native, was a football and track star at Duke in 1949-51 who went on to become athletic director at Maryland and his alma mater before taking over as commissioner of the Big Eight Conference in 1980. He retired in 1996 after helping to add four Texas schools to what became the Big 12 Conference.

He's survived by wife Marjorie Pettit James and two daughters.

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Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg regarding the passing of former Big Eight Commissioner Carl James:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Carl's family during this time. Carl was a great administrator for the Big Eight Conference for more than 16 years and played a major role in the grass roots development of the Big 12 Conference. He touched so many in the Big 12 family even after his retirement. We will miss him dearly."