April 02, 2004
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or mstepanovich@csub.edu

Myles Brand, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), is not one to shy away from tough situations. As president of Indiana University, he fired legendary basketball coach Bob Knight rather than risk losing institutional control. Now he’s faced with what may be an even more daunting task: dealing with the University of Colorado recruiting sex scandal, and the growing use of steroids among student athletes.

He will discuss these issues and others when he gives the Charles W. Kegley Memorial Lecture at California State University, Bakersfield on Tuesday, April 13, at 7 p.m. in the Doré Theater. Admission is free and the public is invited.

Brand, who is also an advocate of athletic opportunities for women, will focus during his lecture on finding the right balance among collegiate sports, academics and ethics.

“There has been so much in the news of late on these and related topics – recruiting scandals, allowing 18-year-olds to play professional football, steroid problems, Title IX – that the topic couldn't be more timely,” said Christopher Meyers, CSUB philosophy professor and director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics at CSUB. “Dr. Brand is a highly respected philosopher and an outstanding speaker. In short this should be one of the Kegley Institute’s best lectures.”

Brand assumed his duties as NCAA president on Jan. 1, 2003. He is the fourth chief executive officer of the association. He was president from 1994 through 2002 of Indiana University, and also served as president at the University of Oregon from 1989 to 1994.

Clearly the action that generated the most notoriety for him was his firing of Knight in September 2000. Brand drew a line in the sand for the volatile Knight saying continued boorish behavior would not be tolerated.

“No one event rose to the occasion of breaking the policy,” Brand said of the firing. “The problem is that we have a continued pattern of unacceptable behavior … except it had gotten worse.”

The action was in keeping with Brand’s belief that the university comes first, not athletics. In other words, Brand does not tolerate what he sees as the tail wagging the dog.

Since taking the helm of the NCAA, Brand has pushed for reform, and a strengthening of academic standards. In a speech to the NCAA in January 2003 shortly after his appointment, Brand said:

“We have a new reform focus for student-athletics. We are making progress, for example, in Division I through the recent passage of strengthened academic standards. Divisions II and III are also aggressively attacking these issues and should be applauded for their leadership. But much work remains to be completed. Our reform goal should be enhancing the academic and developmental environment necessary for the full success of student-athletes. In the end, it is all about the student-athlete.

“The reform movement should also address issues pertaining directly to the financial challenges universities and colleges face. How do we manage the growth associated with athletics? How do we address issues pertaining to our external constituents, such as gaining a better understanding of the degree of commercial activity that is compatible with maintaining the integrity of college sports? And how do we deal with the over-enthusiasm of our fans, most especially those students and others whose celebrations turn unruly?

“The growing reform movement focuses on the challenges facing intercollegiate athletics. But we should not become so absorbed in these problems that we lose sight of our purpose, which is to reinforce the positive value of intercollegiate athletics, to advocate for the benefits intercollegiate athletics provide young women and men and the universities and colleges they attend. We should encourage - and advocate for - the spirit and excitement of intercollegiate athletics.

“We must be clear that reform and advocacy are not merely compatible, they are mutually supporting. We must undertake both, and we must do so simultaneously. Without genuine reform, the future of intercollegiate athletics is in peril. Without vigorous advocacy, the value of intercollegiate athletics will be unrealized.”

Born May 17, 1942, Brand earned his bachelor of science in philosophy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., in 1964, and his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Rochester in 1967. Brand's other administrative posts include provost and vice-president for academic affairs, Ohio State University, 1986-89; coordinating dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arizona, 1985-86; dean, faculty of social and behavioral sciences, Arizona, 1983-86; director, Cognitive Science Program, Arizona, 1982-85; head, department of philosophy, Arizona, 1981-83; chairman, department of philosophy, University of Illinois, Chicago, 1972-80. He began his career in the department of philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, 1967-72. Brand is married to Peg Zeglin Brand, a faculty member in philosophy and gender studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. He has one son and two granddaughters.

For more information about the lecture, please call (661) 664-3149.