The Voice and Conscience of College Sports
When Myles Brand first became President of the NCAA, he faced a number of questions asking about the NCAA’s true role in intercollegiate athletics. People did not fully understand why the NCAA existed—let alone the importance of their mission. So, Brand sought to change perceptions of the Association and clearly establish the values that the NCAA represented.
Historically, the NCAA was established in 1906 by a small group of university presidents at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. At the time, student-athletes would often be severely injured during games, so their mission was to reform college sports regulations to make them safer for students. They succeeded, and the NCAA embodied a lasting obligation to set those standards and ensure contests were safe and fair.
In 2003, Brand aimed to demonstrate that the NCAA was still the voice and conscience of intercollegiate athletics, protecting the well-being and interests of student-athletes. He helped clearly articulate the importance of The Collegiate Model—which prioritized balance between academics and athletics—as well as guidelines for universities on how to maintain those values.
He also wanted to humanize the organization, ensuring that student-athletes always felt heard by the organization and its leaders. Under his guidance, the NCAA became less impersonal and rigid, more willing to listen to student-athlete concerns and consider individual cases independently.
During his tenure, Brand was occasionally criticized as the “czar of college sports,” saying that he either should or shouldn’t exert more control over the NCAA’s members. However, Brand repeatedly argued that the presidential leadership role of the NCAA was one of guidance and consensus. The NCAA president and his staff worked with college presidents, administrators, and athletic teams from over one thousand universities and colleges to implement change through oversight and leadership.
Together, the NCAA represents the collective voice of intercollegiate athletics, but Brand understood that only through cooperative consensus can they create the best experience for student-athletes across the country.
NCAA State of the Association delivered as NCAA President at 2003 NCAA Convention
January 1, 2003
“Academics First: Progress Report,” delivered to the National Press Club
March 4, 2003
“Academics First: Progress Report” delivered at 2003 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