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.
“Where Credit Is Due,” Washington Post
September 28, 2004
“The Myths of College Sports: Debunking the Four Great Commonly Held Misperceptions About Intercollegiate Athletics,” NCAA State of the Association delivered at 2005 NCAA Convention
January 8, 2005
“Show Colleges the Money; University Sports in Need of Some Commercialism,” Chicago Tribune
April 6, 2005
“Putting the ‘Student’ Back into Student Athlete,” Black Issues in Higher Education, 22:4, pp. 28-30, by Kendra Hamilton
April 7, 2005
“NBA Plan Closes Door to College for Some,” Indianapolis Star
July 3, 2005
“NCAA Takes High Road with Ban of Offensive Mascots,” USA Today
August 11, 2005
“The Business of College Sports,” The Commonwealth, 99:16, pp. 15-18
August 15, 2005
“The Role and Value of Intercollegiate Athletics in Universities,” Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 33:1, pp. 9-20
January 1, 2006
“Myles Brand,” Views from the Presidency: Leadership in Higher Education, pp. 56-85, Francis L. Lawrence
January 1, 2006
“The Principles of Intercollegiate Athletics,” NCAA State of the Association delivered at 2006 NCAA Convention
January 16, 2006