SBJ/20090921/Remembering Myles Brand

Remembering Myles Brand: 1942 - 2009

“Myles was the right man at the right time. He did a wonderful job of establishing a standard to which other presidents will be measured. Because of Myles’ leadership, other university presidents became more engaged with the NCAA, took it more seriously and had more confidence in the organization.”

Gordon Gee, president, Ohio State University

“We are a couple of New York City boys and … the more we met, the more we realized that there were a variety of issues of common concern and we began taking steps for a broad collaboration which we knew would not yield immediate results, but was the right thing. Myles had a wonderful vision on all of these matters and an understanding that given what he had to balance in the world of academics, athletics, and business, there were things we could do together to advance both of our mutual agendas.”

David Stern, commissioner, NBA, which teamed with the NCAA to create iHoops, an online
community for youth basketball

“A university president stepping in was a very dramatic change for the NCAA, and he handled it perfectly. He was exactly what the NCAA needed and what we still need. It’s a source of deep concern that we’ll struggle to restore that kind of leadership.”

Peter Likins, president emeritus, University of Arizona

“He was obviously a strategic thinker and understood that without the tremendous financial success of football and basketball, that other sports opportunities would be diminished on college campuses. … Dr. Brand clearly understood that there is a direct correlation between the financial and commercial success of college football and basketball programs and a university’s commitment to field a full complement of sports teams on university campuses. From my seat, I didn’t see this as embracing commercialism as much as a more strategic, far-reaching view of how best to expand opportunity in college sports.”

Ben Sutton, CEO, ISP Sports

“All people knew was that he fired Knight and immediately everyone thought he’s anti-athletics. That was not the case at all.”

Rick Jones, FishBait Marketing, which represents football and basketball coaches associations

“The job that Myles did probably lends more prestige to that job. The job is now one that top-notch university presidents are interested in and a number of years ago, that was not true.

Kevin O’Malley, former TV executive and consultant to numerous college conferences

“The way he embraced and fully supported the role of business and commercial enterprise, that was a surprise. But he did it in a way that was fully supportive of the student athlete and opportunities for the student athlete.”

Pat Battle, senior corporate vice president, IMG College

“I think the ‘C’ in NCAA got more attention during Myles’ time than the ‘A.’”

Michael Adams, president, University of Georgia chairman of the NCAA executive committee

“If anything, Myles became more admired by people in the trenches because he allowed coaches’ voices to be heard. The man learned to understand and appreciate coaches more than he originally thought when he took the chair. That’s a legacy the next leader will need to pay attention to.”

Chris Plonsky, women’s athletic director, University of Texas

“Myles was really good at articulating the differences between the pro sports model and the collegiate sports model. There are so many forces trying to pull those together, and he was one who said, ‘We can’t do that. There are precious things about the collegiate model that have to be preserved.’ That’s something that is going to have to continue.”

James Barker, president, Clemson University

“I can remember 25 years ago when you could shoot a cannon down the hall at an NCAA convention and never hit a president. Now in the halls of the convention, you could shoot a cannon and not hit an AD. There’s been a dramatic change in terms of getting presidents more involved in the governance of college athletics.”

Jim Host, founder, Host Communications, which later became part of IMG College

“He had this disarming style. You didn’t know what to expect when you met him, and once you got to know him, he had this extraordinary ability to listen, hear and think.

Greg Shaheen, senior vice president, NCAA

“People expected Myles to do certain things in a certain way because they thought they knew him. There was so much focus on the fact that he was president at Indiana that fired Bobby Knight that people felt they had an idea of which direction he was going to go. I don’t think that was the case.”

Robert Hemenway, former chancellor, University of Kansas, and a member of the NCAA executive committee that hired Brand in 2002

“In his very being, he really believed that they were student athletes and not just entertainers for television. That was really pervasive throughout his entire approach to his job.”

Sean McManus, president, CBS News and CBS Sports

“Some people, because of the Bobby Knight incident, thought that he would be too far on the academic side and that he was going to clamp down on intercollegiate athletics. But he did care a lot about athletic success.”

Harvey Perlman, chancellor, University of Nebraska

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