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Myles Brand

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!!!

Dave Ridpath

January 19, 2009 - Posted by | NCAA, Uncategorized |


  1. I second Dave’s sentiments. However, whatever Brand’s legacy at the NCAA, for better or worse, he will always be remembered as the man who fired Bob Knight at Indiana. I happen to think Brand’s act was a profile in courage, but no doubt many disagree. And it’s certainly not a simple calculus. After all, look what’s become of Indiana basketball. Meanwhile, Knight’s behavior at Texas Tech was reasonably good. Could he have reformed himself while still at IU or did he need to lose the IU job to get better himself? (I’m watching too much Intervention on A&E.) FWIW, I somehow doubt Knight would acknowledge that Brand did him a favor. Rather than dwell on the particulars of Brand vs. Knight, perhaps the more important question in this forum is what standards must university administrators, athletic directors, etc apply when balancing the desire for winning programs against the range of interests like reputation, integrity, educational mission, etc. Is one behavior okay with 25 wins but not okay with 10 wins? How about a National Championship? Does it matter? Without the benefit of hindsight, how do you make tough calls? What do you all think? I imagine Brand could teach us a thing or two here.

    Comment by Paul Benedict | January 20, 2009 | Reply

  2. We are remembered by our accomplishments and Myles Brand certainly had many. He advanced education and humanity in his academic career and as president of Indiana University and the NCAA. He was a principled leader with high integrity. I am especially grateful to him for his courage and willingness to lead the NCAA in its work for racial justice in intercollegiate sports. I know we are all better off for that.

    Comment by Stephen Kaufman | September 16, 2009 | Reply

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