Bobby Petrino was hired Tuesday as the football coach at Arkansas, capping a whirlwind day in which he stunningly resigned from the Atlanta Falcons after just 13 games.

Petrino succeeds Houston Nutt, who stepped down at Arkansas two weeks ago and became the head coach at Mississippi. Petrino was introduced as the Razorbacks coach by incoming athletic director Jeff Long at a late-night news conference.

"It is a tremendous honor for me to be named the 30th head coach at Arkansas, particularly on a night when we honored coach (Frank) Broyles for his 50 years service," Petrino said, referring to former head coach and outgoing athletic director Frank Broyles. "He's such a legend and I can't wait to develop a relationship with him."

In January, Petrino left as head coach at Louisville to take over in Atlanta, agreeing to a five-year, $24 million contract handed out by a team that felt he could help Michael Vick reach his full potential.

NFL UPDATES DISABILITY PLAN: The NFL and its players association are updating their disability plan for retired players in the hopes that it will make it easier for them and for disabled players to get their benefits more efficiently and quickly.

It includes a medical director to advise the claims committee; medical panels in metropolitan areas; specialists who can help players apply for benefits by phone; and other updated procedures, including a prescription drug card for all retired players vested in the pension plan.

The plan, first reported by The New York Times on its Web site, comes in response to repeated complaints by retired players about the current system.

It was confirmed Tuesday evening by union spokesman Carl Francis.

DITKA TO DISSOLVE CHARITY: Mike Ditka will dissolve his Hall of Fame Assistance Trust Fund in the wake of a report that the charity had given only a small amount of money to needy former NFL players.

USA Today reported last week that Ditka's fund had collected $1.3 million since it was formed in 2004 but netted only about $315,000 after expenses and distributed just $57,000 to former players.

STEELERS' SMITH TO MISS REST OF SEASON: Defensive end Aaron Smith, one of the Pittsburgh Steelers' best defensive players, is out for the rest of the season after he tore a biceps muscle during their 21-point loss at New England on Sunday.

NAMATH TO GET DEGREE: Joe Namath will graduate from Alabama on Saturday, more than four decades after finishing his college career.

Namath worked toward his bachelor of arts degree for the past five years through Alabama's External Degree program, known as EXD. He will be one of more than 900 graduates participating in the ceremony at Coleman Coliseum.

Namath, who left Alabama in 1965 some 15 credits shy of his degree, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame 20 years later. He led the New York Jets to their only Super Bowl championship in 1969.