NCAA committee starts search for Brand's successor

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The NCAA has begun the somber task of replacing Myles Brand amid questions of just what kind of leader that should be.

Brand, who died Wednesday at age 67 from pancreatic cancer, was the first university president to run the NCAA and was outspoken in calling for tougher eligibility standards for incoming freshman and current students.

Does that mean the executive committee will look exclusively for a university president or former president to head the premier governing body for college athletics?


"He led the way in a different manner than the association's ever been led before," Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi said. "My belief is the next head will also be a sitting or former president because he proved that it can work."

Those expected to be on the short list include Georgia president and executive committee chairman Michael Adams, University of Hartford president Walter Harrison and NCAA executive Bernard Franklin.

Adams worked closely over the years with Brand and was occasionally cited by Brand as one of the pre-eminent university presidents in the nation.

"I'd never talk publicly about two things, jobs or money. I love the University of Georgia. My plan is to be here until retirement," Adams said Thursday. "My plan is to help facilitate the NCAA getting a search started and getting somebody in place to succeed Myles."

Harrison is a former executive committee chair and is in charge of the Division I committee on academic performance - the group that handles two of Brand's biggest contributions to measuring how athletes perform in the classroom, the Academic Progress Report and Graduation Success Rate.

Franklin served as the president at four colleges, the largest being Virginia Union, before coming to the NCAA. He, too, works with the executive committee and has experience working with the Division II committees.

The NCAA executive committee is not scheduled to meet again until next month and a permanent replacement isn't expected to be named for months.

"The executive committee has started discussions on both the interim leadership issue as well as a formal search," NCAA spokesman Bob Williams said Thursday. "Essentially, they are on their own time table for that."

For now, the president's cabinet will help conduct the day-to-day operations.

Those playing prominent roles include Division I vice president David Berst, vice president of academic and membership affairs Kevin Lennon, senior vice president of basketball and business strategies Greg Shaheen and Franklin, who is executive vice president of governance and membership.

Discussions about a search are beginning even as tributes to Brand continued.

When the announcement of Brand's death came Wednesday, a wide spectrum of acquaintances - Colts owner Jim Irsay, NBA commissioner David Stern, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Stephanie Streeter, acting CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee - offered their thoughts and condolences.

Colts coach Jim Caldwell joined that group Thursday before his team practiced.

"Myles Brand had, I think, a huge impact on everybody, certainly those at the NCAA," Caldwell said. "He didn't just give it lip service, he did something about it, and I think he's also going to be missed as well."

At least eight conferences, including the Pac-10, Conference USA and the Sun Belt, said member schools have been asked to observe a moment of silence before all remaining games this week. The Mid-American and Northeast conferences are planning to have statements read before the moment of silence.

Brand's family has scheduled a small private service for family only and details have not been released. The NCAA is planning to hold a public tribute in the next couple of weeks.


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