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Dr. Myles Brand Named Recipient of NFHS Award of Merit


Contact: Bruce Howard 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 18, 2010) — Former NCAA President Dr. Myles Brand, who passed away last year, has been chosen as the 2010 recipient of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Award of Merit.  

Brand, who championed academic reform during his seven years as president of the NCAA, passed away September 16, 2009, after a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer. His wife, Dr. Peg Brand, will accept the Award of Merit on his behalf July 9 during the luncheon at the 91st annual NFHS Summer Meeting in San Diego, California. 

The Award of Merit, which has now been presented to 39 individuals, is one of the highest honors an individual can receive from the NFHS. Previous recipients include Walter Byers, the first NCAA executive director; former President Gerald Ford; and former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn. 

After serving as president of the University of Oregon for five years and Indiana University for eight years, Brand began his seven-year tenure as NCAA president in January 2003. In doing so, he changed the landscape of intercollegiate athletics. He was not intimidated by long-standing institutions, nor was he afraid to challenge the status quo in his relentless pursuit to foster different attitudes about the role of intercollegiate athletics within higher education.  

Brand was the first academician selected as president of the NCAA and was revered for his ability to stress the educational component of intercollegiate athletics. In his first five years as NCAA president, Brand implemented the most comprehensive academic reform package for intercollegiate athletics in recent history. He was passionate about directing the attention of student-athletes, coaches and administrators on education. He wanted not only those involved in intercollegiate athletics, but also college sports fans en masse, to understand the role of intercollegiate athletics within the academic mission of higher education. 

Under Brand, the NCAA adopted two new measures – the Academic Progress Report and the Graduation Success Rate – to determine how student-athletes are performing in the classroom. For Brand, how student-athletes were performing in the classroom was more important than their successes on the field. He believed that intercollegiate athletics should contribute to and enhance education, not take precedence over it. 

Brand understood the fine line between utilizing revenue generated from intercollegiate athletics to support academic experiences and exploiting student-athletes for profit. His expectations that student-athletes should never be used for commercial gain were clear and unwavering because, as Brand best said in his 2003 State of the Association speech, “In the end, it is all about the student-athlete.” 


This press release was written by Arika Herron, a summer intern in the NFHS Publications/Communications Department and a senior at Butler (Indiana) University. 


About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) 

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and fine arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and fine arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and Rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.5 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; produces publications for high school coaches, officials and athletic directors; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, spirit coaches, speech and debate coaches and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS Web site at 

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