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.
“Drug Use in Sports,” Brand testified about the use of performance enhancing drugs in the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Trade & Consumer Protection
February 27, 2008
“A Winning Play: Healthy College Sports Require Spending Balanced with Campus Values,” AGB Trusteeship, 16:2, pp. 30-35
March 1, 2008
Indiana University Interview by Professor Don Gray for the IU Emeriti Oral History Project
March 17, 2008
“Pay for Play is Fine—But Not in College Sports,” Huffington Post
August 20, 2008
“Why the Capitalism Argument on Pay for Play Doesn’t Work,” Huffington Post
September 6, 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
“Getting a Grip on Fan Behavior in College Sports,” Huffington Post
December 12, 2008
“Give Optimism a Chance,” Huffington Post
December 21, 2008