Values to Last a Lifetime
For all his love of philosophy and his focus on Academics First, Myles Brand was a sports fan through and through. He grew up playing basketball and running track, which he fondly recalled as some of his best memories of high school. And more than anything, he loved how athletics was a place for student-athletes to grow, learn, and find their own community of like-minded friends.
Brand often spoke about the underlying values of college sports. As he saw it, the role of athletics in education was to enrich the college experience while teaching essential life skills that could only be learned outside the classroom. Sports gave student-athletes the opportunity to gain experience growing as a person and learning values like leadership, teamwork, sportsmanship, and diligence.
Because of his love of sports, Brand was all the more determined to ensure that intercollegiate athletics stayed as fair, fun, and free of commercialism as possible. He believed that the values of college sports were at the core of the NCAA’s mission, and he wanted to protect the student-athletes’ ability to participate in athletics without sacrificing their education. After all, most student-athletes would not become professional athletes—and Brand believed it was foolish to pretend differently. But every student-athlete had the right to learn and grow through sports, like so many had before them.
Brand’s excitement for athletics was not always obvious in his formal speeches, but his genuine enthusiasm for the game is more than evident in his podcast episodes, where he often spoke passionately about the joy and beauty of sports.