Brand, the man who in a roundabout way brought Bobby Knight to the Big 12 by firing him at Indiana, pulled down a compensation package worth $935,000 as the NCAA President last year. That's more than any President at a Public University makes, but obviously not as much as a lot of College football and basketball coaches earn. Still, the guys at the Wizard of Odds think it's too much.
University of Hartford president Walt Harrison is chair of the NCAA executive committee that approved Brands compensation package, and he thinks Brand is worth it. You mentioned that (Brand) makes more than public university presidents," Harrison said. "That is one peer group. But he makes a lot less than the commissioners of Major League Baseball and the NBA, and some aspects of those jobs have similar requirements."
Of course those leagues are professional organizations that actually direct a large portion of their revenue towards the workers/players. The NCAA on the other hand works hard to keep the collegiate athlete an amateur. The non-profit organization insists that its mission is to "keeps sports an integral part of the educational program and the athlete as an integral part of the student body."
So while the NCAA negotiates a multi-billion dollar contract with CBS over the NCAA Basketball Tournament, while they oversee (and authorize) schools using current players numbers and names to sell merchandise, and while they look the other way as "College Football Fantasy Leagues" spout up, Myles Brand is on the lookout for other important stuff.
Like first threatening to not invite schools with "hostile and abusive" Native American nicknames, and then simply not letting those schools hosts championship NCAA events.
The University of North Dakota, an historical NCAA Hockey power, was one of the first targets of the Brand Native American Nickname edict. The UND Fighting Sioux have participted in 18 Frozen Four Championships and won 7 National Titles. They sued the NCAA and recently reached a settlement where the school has three years negotiate an agreement with two North Dakota Sioux tribes — Spirit Lake and Standing Rock — to receive approval for the continued use of the "Sioux" name and logo.
If an agreement is not reached by 2011, the university will be forced to find a new name and logo.
What about Florida State? What about Chief Osceola riding an appaloosa horse named Renegade, and hurling a burning spear at midfield to begin every home game.
What about painted up Florida State fans with the Tomahawk Chop?
Well, the NCAA doesn't like that either, but has decided that since the school has a financial agreement with the the Seminole tribe that it is not as hostile and abusive as other schools like the University of North Dakota or the Fighting Illini of Illinois.
Basically Brand and the NCAA are telling schools with Native American nicknames, "make a deal and we won't stop you from playing in or hosting NCAA events." And why not? No matter what FSU is paying the Seminole tribe, they are more than making up the difference in merchandise sales.
Brand spends a lot of time talking about the "arms race" among BCS schools who are trying to outdo each other in facilities and how it will lead to a catastrophe in D-1 football. And of course he pushes the value of amateur collegiate sports. In a speech to the National Press Club, Brand said that "intercollegiate athletics can be a vital force in America's culture, exemplifying the positive spirit and values of our way of life," but he also expressed his strong belief "that academics must come first."
Meanwhile the SEC signs a 15-year TV contract with CBS. While the argument over having a football playoff continues, more bowl games are being added each year. Schools like Texas expand their stadiums, being sure to expand the luxury boxes and corporate suites. Boone Pickens drops a couple hundred million into the Oklahoma State coffers, and how long before he demands a return on his investment?
So maybe Brand can be compared to the commissioners of professional sports.
They all share a Universal Truth.
When they say it's not about the money, it is always about the money.