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BREAKING NEWS: Myles Brand dies of pancreatic cancer

Published 7:41pm Wednesday, September 16, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS – The man who will forever be known for firing Bob Knight while president of Indiana University has died at age 67 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Brand, who became the first university president to head the NCAA, is also the first sitting president to die.

Brand announced back in January at the NCAA convention that he had cancer. Despite the announcement, he continued to run the day-to-day operations.

Brand was also known for his pushing for tougher academic standards in collegiate sports.

“I’m fortunate to have been able to call Myles Brand a friend as well as a colleague in the collegiate athletics arena,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement released to the media. “Myles championed so many progressive causes with the creation and emphasis on tools like the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate and the Graduation Success Rate. He had a great handle on how athletics should fit into the culture of an institution and he spent his career promoting the values he believed should be a huge part of our programs.

“Whether it was his views on commercialism or simply the economics of running a major-college program, he wasn’t afraid to exert his influence to make college athletic programs more accountable and more representative of higher education. The restless intellect that made Myles such an extraordinary scholar also made him a great leader. He never shied away from taking a risk that he thought might benefit college athletics and the student-athletes he cared so deeply about,” he noted.

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said,

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said, “We’re all deeply saddened by the passing of NCAA President Myles Brand. He truly was an advocate for student-athlete welfare, and he helped re-emphasize the importance of the student before athlete. Myles also will be remembered as a champion for academic reform.

“On behalf of the entire MSU Athletics Department, I wish to extend our condolences to his wife Peg and son Joshua,” he added.

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