Heart attack claims Auburn's Virgil Starks

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Coach Tommy Tuberville says Auburn associate athletic director Virgil Starks has died of a heart attack.

The 46-year-old Starks passed away while returning home from Saturday's football game against Tennessee-Martin. He was in charge of the student-athlete support services and had worked with Auburn's athletic department for 10 years.

Tuberville said Sunday that Starks' death was "a shock to all of us." He said Starks played a big role in helping Auburn student-athletes get their degrees.

Athletic director Jay Jacobs praised Starks for caring for Auburn athletes as if they were his own children. He is survived by his wife Donna and three daughters.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)