Myles Brand, the first former university president to run college sports’ largest governing body, died Wednesday of pancreatic cancer, The Associated Press reports. He was 67.
Brand worked to change the perception that wins supersede academics and earned accolades for his efforts.
Brand broke the news that he had cancer in January at the NCAA convention and continued to handle the organization’s day-to-day operations, despite undergoing treatment. NCAA officials, who announced his death, were not ready to say who would replace Brand or when they might begin searching for a successor.
“Myles Brand’s passing is a great personal loss of a dear friend and an even greater loss to the NCAA and collegiate athletics,” said Georgia president Michael Adams, who worked closely with Brand. “I believe Myles will be remembered as a person who helped us refocus on the student in student-athlete and his academic reforms will long outlive him.”
Brand gained national attention in May 2000 when, as Indiana president, he put Bobby Knight on a zero-tolerance policy after a former player alleged the hugely successful but hotheaded coach had choked him during a practice years earlier.