The Future of the NCAA

An article in the New York Times discusses the future direction of the NCAA after the death last month of its president, Myles Brand. The Times focuses on ethical challenges within intercollegiate athletics that result in the tension between athletics and academia: commercialism, escalating salaries, Title IX, and the length of playing seasons. In comparison to President Obama’s efforts to reform the nation’s health care system, reforming the NCAA and changing the direction of college athletics “may be more daunting than reforming health care because the emotions of alumni and boosters are involved.” The article states that the future direction of the NCAA will likely be influenced by its next president: will he or she be a current college president, as was Myles Brand from the University of Indiana-Bloomington? Or, will the next NCAA president come from within athletics, as was each of Brand’s predecessors, Walter Byers starting in 1951, Dick Schultz in 1988, and Cedric Dempsey in 1993?