The Importance of Engaged University Presidents
In the world of college sports, there is an intricate hierarchy of leaders who shape the rules and culture of intercollegiate athletics. Governing boards dictate university policies. Conferences organize their championships and tournaments. Coaches directly oversee their athletic programs. And within all of that, the NCAA serves as a guiding voice to protect the well-being of student-athletes.
But Myles Brand firmly believed that the best way to achieve unified, focused leadership was through the power of each university president. As he saw it, the NCAA’s mission could only succeed if every president accepted and enforced NCAA guidelines on their campus. Brand emphasized the reciprocal nature of their relationship and that university presidents had a responsibility to manage their athletic departments accordingly.
In Brand’s words, “I am more convinced than ever that the relationship between intercollegiate athletics and higher education has survived the test of time because those who went before us had the values right. It falls to us—all of us—to see that these values are preserved and that they direct our future actions.”
To that end, Brand argued that university presidents needed to be more engaged with their athletic programs, proactively exercising oversight responsibilities to protect their students’ well-being. From fiscal responsibility to academic success, Brand encouraged university presidents to take charge and reinforce the values outlined by the NCAA, which represented the cooperative efforts of presidents, faculty, administrators, coaches, and student-athletes across the country.
Throughout his career, Brand spoke often on the subject of presidential leadership in sports and offered his guidance to various institutions on the topic.
Indiana University Press Conference on the Results of the Investigation into Coach Bob Knight; introductions by IU Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations Christopher Simpson; IU President Myles Brand; Vice President of the IU Board of Trustees Frederich Eichorn; and IU Trustee John Walda
May 15, 2000
Indiana University News Conference on Coach Bob Knight Sanctions, including “Sanctions and Directives Resulting from the Conditions for Review” and the agreement signed by Knight
May 15, 2000
“When the Going Gets Tough,” The Presidency, 3:3, pp. 14-16
September 1, 2000
Coach Bob Knight Termination Press Conference; introductions by IU Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations Christopher Simpson; IU President Myles Brand; and Vice President of the IU Board of Trustees Frederich Eichorn
September 10, 2000
Myles Brand Letter Regarding Coach Bob Knight’s Firing
September 13, 2000
“Academics First: Reforming Intercollegiate Athletics,” delivered to National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
January 23, 2001
“Academics First: Reforming Intercollegiate Athletics,” published in Vital Speeches of the Day; delivered to the National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
January 23, 2001
“Academics First: Rejuvenating Athletics Reform,” Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) Trusteeship, 9:2, pp.18-22
January 24, 2001
NCAA State of the Association delivered as NCAA President at 2003 NCAA Convention
January 1, 2003
“Academics First: Progress Report” delivered at 2003 National Press Club
March 4, 2003