I was deeply saddened to hear that Dr. Brand has pancreatic cancer and that the prognosis is not good. While Dr. Brand and I have disagreed vociferously on many issues in college athletics, it purpose, and certainly on the reform effort–let there be no doubt that there is no single person, including Walter Byers, who has had such a profound impact on the Association in making it better and aligning it with its true purpose. Dr. Brand’s passion for the athlete and fairness has made an archaic waiver process better and more athlete friendly, his push for academic reform has brought to the table discussions that were never spoken before, and his continued work with organizations like COIA and the Knight Commission on improving college athletics is commendable and laudable.
While Dr. Brand and I may disagree on the process to reforming college sports, at the end of the day we want the same thing and that is actual college students playing college sports. I do not believe there has ever been a President of the NCAA who wants it more, and who is willing to risk the political points to get it done.
I am not here to write an obituary of a great man who has given his life’s work to higher education and the betterment of it because he is still very much alive. We are all pulling for Myles to beat this and he certainly needs our thoughts and prayers. While he does need time, much more time, to be part of this world, his legacy is secure and his work with the NCAA will never be forgotten. Here’s hoping we have several more years of critical work done on the reform front and continued debate with Myles Brand on the subject, because I am convinced that without him–we would not even be having the discussion.
God Bless and Good Luck Myles–The Ohio University Community and so many others are pulling for you!!!