In All, Fairness
Throughout his career, Brand was a vocal advocate for diversity and inclusion. As early as his time as Provost at The Ohio State, he was speaking about the importance of supporting minority students and combating the injustices in our society.
During his tenure at the NCAA, Brand was committed to developing NCAA initiatives to address social justice issues regarding race, gender, class, sexuality, and disability. He sought to restructure the hierarchies of power that prevented true equity within athletics and to expand the opportunities for education and sport participation for underrepresented and minority students.
Brand defended Title IX when it was under attack by President George W. Bush. He vehemently argued against the “dumb jock” myth that pervaded perceptions of African American athletes. And he often spoke out against the low numbers of women and people of color in administrative and coaching positions. In his words, diversity hiring and affirmative action were not only morally right but also the smartest course of action.
In August 2005, Brand created the NCAA’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, hiring African American scholar Charlotte Westerhaus to serve as Vice President of the office. Together, they developed and implemented programs such as the Diversity Education Program, the Football Coaches Academy, and the Leadership Institute for Ethnic Minority Males and Females.
In 2005, the NCAA Executive Committee took another unprecedented step in the world of sports by refusing to conduct championships at institutions with offensive mascots. As an organization, the NCAA had no official authority to ban such mascots, but their stance was a clear condemnation of racial caricatures. In Brand’s words, “This is not about an effort to be politically correct. It is about doing the right thing.”
Over the years, Brand repeatedly spoke on issues of social justice in sports, doing his part to change our culture for the better. Brand himself admitted that solving these injustice problems was one of the most persistent and frustrating challenges of his tenure: one that still, to this day, reveals an unfortunate resistance to true equity.
“A Winning Play: Healthy College Sports Require Spending Balanced with Campus Values,” AGB Trusteeship, 16:2, pp. 30-35
March 1, 2008
Mondays with Myles: Episode 95 – HBCUs with VP Diversity
March 10, 2008
Mondays with Myles: Episode 102 – Gender Equity Forum
April 28, 2008
Mondays with Myles: Episode 113 – Fair Hiring
July 14, 2008
“Pay for Play is Fine—But Not in College Sports,” Huffington Post
August 20, 2008
“Why the Fairness Argument on Pay for Play Isn’t a Fair Argument,” Huffington Post
September 12, 2008
“Don’t Let Facts Get in the Way of a Good Myth,” Huffington Post
October 15, 2008
“The ‘Dumb Jock’ Myth is Dumb,” Huffington Post
November 9, 2008
“Diversity Hiring: Famine in the Midst of Hiring,” Huffington Post
January 9, 2009
WISH-TV Broadcast of Mondays with Myles – “Minorities in Coaching”
January 19, 2009