Bye, Gophers' MVP in 1946, drowns

Updated: June 13, 2009, 12:56 PM ET
Associated Press

BRAINERD, Minn. -- Billy Bye, a halfback at Minnesota in the 1940s, has drowned in a boating accident. He was 81.

The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office confirmed the death Saturday. He died at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby.

Authorities say Bye's motor became entangled while he was on Bay Lake on Friday. He freed the motor but was unable to get back in the boat despite attempts by passengers to throw him ropes and lifejackets.

Son Jim Bye told the Star Tribune in Minneapolis his father was boating with his wife, Sally, and friends.

Billy Bye played for the Gophers from 1946 to 1949 and was their most valuable player in 1946.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press