The Business of Sports

The Collegiate Model vs. The Professional Model

During his tenure, Myles Brand repeatedly refuted some of the myths and misperceptions around intercollegiate athletics, including many criticisms that college sports was only about the money. He introduced the idea of The Collegiate Model of athletics, which differed from professional sports by prioritizing education over profits or competitive success.

While Brand recognized the need for some commercialism to financially support universities, he warned against any commercial activity that could jeopardize the role of student-athletes as students first. He argued that student-athletes were attending college for an education and should never be treated as professional employees of the institution.

Brand described the need for balance in his 2009 State of the Association Address, saying: “The objective, then, is to determine the balance point, all factors considered, between crass over-commercialism and unrealistic idealism… Once that occurs, we will be able to move forward in the conduct of intercollegiate athletics with a clear conscience.”

In his speech, Brand identified two key guiding principles to help universities stay balanced in the years to come. First, student-athletes should never be exploited in commercial activities. And secondly, all commercial activities in college athletics must be consistent with the values and mission of higher education. Following those guidelines is hardly simple, but Brand remained adamant that collegiate athletics was not the “entertainment division” of higher education. Its purpose was to enhance student-athletes’ college experience and teach them important life values.

The question of commercialism in college sports remains a complicated and controversial topic in the world of intercollegiate athletics. Brand wrote and spoke on issues like pay-for-play and licensing that are still relevant and heavily debated today.

The Business of Sports

Mondays with Myles: Episode 67 – NCAA & Football Leagues

July 30, 2007



“Insights: Myles Brand on His Game Plan,” Business Officer, by John Walda

September 1, 2007


Mondays with Myles: Episode 78 – Universities Subsidizing Athletics

October 22, 2007



Mondays with Myles: Episode 80 – NCAA Football vs. NFL

November 5, 2007



“AGB Statement on Board Responsibilities for Intercollegiate Athletics”

November 16, 2007


“The True Nature of Cheating,” Football and Philosophy: Going Deep, pp. 90-100, by Marshall Swain and Myles Brand

January 1, 2008


“Leadership and Challenges: The Roles of Intercollegiate Athletics in the University,” NCAA State of the Association delivered at 2008 NCAA Convention

January 12, 2008


“A Winning Play: Healthy College Sports Require Spending Balanced with Campus Values,” AGB Trusteeship, 16:2, pp. 30-35

March 1, 2008


Mondays with Myles: Episode 97 – Limiting Commercialism

March 24, 2008



Mondays with Myles: Episode 101 – Boosters

April 21, 2008