A Myles Brand Timeline of Milestones
Dr. Myles Brand is best known for his legacy as President of the NCAA, where he led the organization through an era of academic and organizational reform. However, his journey began long before his presidency and will be remembered long after his death.
During his life, Brand was a philosopher, an administrator, a leader in higher education, and an advocate for student-athletes. Below is a chronological timeline of the major events that shaped and impacted Brand’s career, including some of his most influential works and speeches available here in the archive.
Born May 17, 1942
Myles Brand grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he first discovered his passion for both reading and athletics. Brand disliked much of his high school experience, but he recalled many fond memories of playing basketball, running track, and exploring the local library for new books to read. Only later would he realize that the majority of his favorite books were all about philosophy.
Graduated with a Bachelor’s in Philosophy
Brand originally attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering, but he quickly realized he did not enjoy it. With the help and guidance of his teacher Robert Whalen, Brand instead found his love for philosophical discussion and graduated from RPI with his Bachelor’s in Philosophy in 1964.
Earned Ph.D. in Philosophy
Brand continued to pursue his studies at the University of Rochester and earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy only three years after his undergrad. His main focus of interest was action theory, which analytically examines intention and motivation. He wrote several essays and works on the topic, including his 1984 book Intending and Acting: Toward a Naturalized Action Theory.Download Excerpt
Appointed Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago
Brand enjoyed applying his philosophy to administrative positions, which offered opportunities to enact change and improve the lives of others. After a year as Assistant Chair at the University of Pittsburgh, Brand became Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He remained Chair until 1981, when he moved to the University of Arizona and became the Head of the Philosophy Department there.
Named the Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences at University of Arizona
At the University of Arizona, Brand continued to take on more leadership roles. He served as Head of the Philosophy Department for two years. He founded a revolutionary new Cognitive Science Program in 1982. And when the dean of the college left in 1983, Brand was appointed the new Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Accepted Position of Provost at The Ohio State University
In 1986, Brand made the pivotal decision to become the Provost and Vice President at Ohio State, his first administrative role outside of his academic discipline. His time as Provost was a marked shift from his usual philosophical pursuits, preparing Brand for his future presidency and a lifetime of leadership.
Appointed President of the University of Oregon
Instated as President of Indiana University
After he revived the University of Oregon, other universities began to recognize Brand as a powerful agent of change—and a good candidate for their administration. For his part, Brand longed to move back to the Midwest and the world of Big Ten athletics. So, when Indiana University offered, he accepted. In 1994, Myles Brand became the 16th President of Indiana University’s eight campuses, where he served until 2002.
Ceremonial Inauguration as President of Indiana University
Brand was formally inaugurated as President of Indiana University about six months after beginning his tenure. During his inaugural address, Brand discussed his philosophy on higher education and asserted that all people are morally obligated to look to the future.Download Inaugural Address
Coach Knight Fired
Brand faced one of the most controversial decisions of his career when Coach Bob Knight was accused of a pattern of verbal and physical abuse against students and staff. Brand conducted an investigation and issued a zero-tolerance policy that outlined the university’s expectations. After several months on probation, Coach Knight violated the sanctions he had agreed to follow and was relieved of his duties.Download Brand’s Letter to the Public
First National Press Club Address
Over the years, Brand delivered three speeches to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., including his first groundbreaking address in 2001. In his speech, Brand called for academic reform in intercollegiate sports, warning against the rise of commercialism and advocating for a renewed commitment to student-athlete education. This was when Brand first introduced the “Academics First” reform plan that would become the focus of his tenure at the NCAA—and a lasting legacy of his career.Download Speech
Inducted as President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association
When Cedric Dempsey announced his retirement in 2002, the NCAA began looking for a new president who could lead the organization into an era of academic reform. After a seven-month search process, the Executive Committee unanimously selected Myles Brand to serve as President of the NCAA. Brand was the first university president to ever lead the NCAA, providing a unique perspective that prioritized the academic success of student-athletes.
First NCAA State of the Association Address
Less than two weeks after he assumed office, Brand gave his first NCAA State of the Association Address at the annual NCAA Convention. In that speech, he outlined the key issues that faced the NCAA and his goals for the future of the organization, emphasizing the two guiding principles that would characterize his presidency: reform and advocacy.Download Speech
Academic Progress Rate Implemented
Part of Brand’s academic reform plan included new, more accurate ways to assess academic progress and hold universities accountable for their student-athletes’ success. The Academic Progress Rate (APR) was designed to track a team’s academic performance each term, which allowed the NCAA to enact sanctions if a team was underperforming. The Division I Board of Directors first agreed to begin collecting data for the APR in the 2003-2004 academic year, though no penalties would be assessed until 2005.
Brand Introduced the Collegiate Model of Athletics
In his 2004 State of the Association Address, Brand described a “value-based vision” of intercollegiate athletics that was more responsive to student-athlete needs and encouraged greater oversight by university presidents. This Collegiate Model differed from professional sports by focusing on education—not profit or competitive success. In his speech, Brand emphasized that NCAA’s role was to protect those values on the behalf of all student-athletes.Download Speech
2005 NCAA State of the Association Address
After another year of advocating for reform, Brand’s 2005 State of the Association Address sought to debunk some of the commonly held misperceptions about intercollegiate athletics. He again asserted that college sports must prioritize student-athletes and their education, and he reminded the nation that he was not “the czar of college sports.” The NCAA made decisions as an association of members, and true change was only possible through the consensus of its university presidents.Download Speech
Initial APR Data is Released
The Academic Progress Rate (APR) data that had been collected during the 2003-2004 academic year was compiled and released in February 2005. Based on the numbers, about 51% of Division I institutions would have had at least one team subject to sanctions—if those penalties had been enacted. The initial numbers gave each institution a baseline assessment of their teams and a clear indication of how much they needed to improve if they wanted to avoid future sanctions in the coming years.
Presidential Task Force Launched
Under Brand’s leadership, the NCAA launched a Presidential Task Force consisting of fifty university presidents regarding the Future of Division I Intercollegiate Athletics. After eighteen months, the task force released a report with recommended guidelines for university presidents that centered around: fiscal responsibility, student-athlete well-being, the integration of athletics into the university mission, and strong presidential leadership relating to internal and external constituencies.Download Report
Created the Office for Diversity and Inclusion
In 2005, Brand created the NCAA’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion to actively support and advocate for equity in intercollegiate athletics. He hired African American scholar Charlotte Westerhaus to serve as the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion and worked with her to develop strategies, policies, and programs to address social justice issues in sports.
NCAA Centennial Celebration
In 2006, the NCAA celebrated their 100-Year Anniversary, honoring the first century of united leadership in collegiate sports. In his NCAA State of the Association Address that year, Brand wrote a speech examining the bedrock principles that shaped the organization’s past—and how those values would remain their mission and foundation as they looked to the future.Download Speech
Diversity Leadership Strategic Planning Committee Formed
As part of his continued mission for equity, Brand created a panel of forty athletic administrators who would serve as the Diversity Leadership Strategic Planning Committee. The committee was tasked with charting a roadmap of recommendations for the NCAA to achieve a lasting culture of diversity and inclusion.
2007 NCAA State of the Association Address
In light of his continuing advocacy efforts, Brand titled his State of the Association Address during the 2007 NCAA Convention: “In All, Fairness.” He recalled the NCAA’s underlying values of sportsmanship and fairness as a critical lens to examine the issues of the day—from the academic reform initiative, to the importance of Title IX, to the ongoing fight for diversity and inclusion.Download Speech
AGB Formulates Oversight Guidelines
Brand worked with the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) and other organizations to delineate a set of guidelines for universities and their governing boards, outlining their responsibilities to intercollegiate athletics. The guidelines aimed to encourage proactive oversight that would prevent scandal, protect student-athletes, and better align college sports with the mission and values of higher education.Download Statement
2008 NCAA State of the Association Address
Brand’s speech at the 2008 NCAA Convention reflected on the role of the NCAA and intercollegiate athletics as a whole. He passionately spoke about the value of sports to create community, promote social justice, and augment the classroom experience. As a former university president himself, Brand emphasized that universities and their athletic programs were joined together in an “extraordinary union”—for the ultimate betterment of both.Download Speech
Diagnosed with Cancer
As the year came to a close, Brand was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. Despite his declining health, Brand continued fulfilling his responsibilities as President while undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
Final NCAA State of the Association Address
Because of his health, Brand was unable to deliver his final State of the Association Address in person. Instead, a shortened version of the speech was publicly delivered by Vice President Wallace Renfro at the annual convention. Brand’s original written speech is included here in full, examining the necessity for balance between commercialism and idealism in college athletics. He intended the speech to be a blueprint for the NCAA going forward.Download Speech
Graduation Success Rate Goal Reached
Nearly six years after the NCAA introduced the Academic Progress Rate, Brand was proud to announce the success of their academic reform initiative. The graduation rates of student-athletes were steadily increasing, and the Graduation Success Rate passed their initial goal of 80% graduation in 2009. That number has only continued to increase in recent years, reaching 90% in 2020.
Died September 16, 2009
Sadly, after a life of service and leadership, Myles Brand lost his fight with cancer and passed away on September 16. He was honored with a televised tribute hosted by Jim Nantz and remembered by many as a visionary, a leader, and a friend.Watch Tribute