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.
“Academics First: Progress Report,” delivered to the National Press Club
March 4, 2003
NCAA Title IX Seminar Keynote Address
April 28, 2003
“Myles Brand,” Philosophy Now: A Magazine of Ideas, 41, interview by Tim Madigan
May 1, 2003
2003 Black Coaches Association Keynote Speech
June 5, 2003
“Business Competition in College Athletics,” Brand testified about the NCAA championship series in the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee
September 4, 2003
“Competition in College Bowl Games,” Brand testified about the state of competition in college football in the U.S. Senate
October 29, 2003
“Value-Based Educational Model,” NCAA State of the Association delivered at 2004 NCAA Convention
January 1, 2004
“Academics and athletics: playing for the same team: NCAA president discusses the challenges of leading the organization in an era of academic reform,” Black Issues in Higher Education, 21:4, pp. 26-31, by Ronald Roach
April 8, 2004
“BackTalk; In Athletics, Level Field Must Begin in Classroom,” The New York Times
May 9, 2004
“Education of College Athletes,” Brand responds to viewer messages about the NCAA’s proposal to improve the quality of college athlete education
May 29, 2004