Myles Brand, the NCAA president who made headlines in 2000 for firing Bobby Knight while president of Indiana University, succumbed to pancreatic cancer today. He was 67.
Brand shepherded into the common parlance of the NCAA a system of academic accountability for teams called the Academic Progress Rate. He backed his belief in sports as an agent of broader social change by advocating for an NCAA policy against Native American mascots.
Yet his pragmatic nature allowed for exceptions and compromise in both cases. As he often reminded people, the NCAA president has a bully pulpit, not the power of a czar.via.
So the real Myles Brand legacy will be that of a guy that fired Bobby Knight and killed Chief Illiniwek, since tracking academics in Division I sports is almost pointless. And that damn Y instead of an I in his first name. But yeah, sad.