NCAA chief dies after battling pancreatic cancer

September 16, 2009 2:17:26 PM PDT
Myles Brand, the former Indiana University president who fired basketball coach Bob Knight and later went on to lead the NCAA, died Wednesday afternoon from pancreatic cancer. He was 67. As the first university president to ever run college sports' largest governing body, Brand worked to change the perception that wins supersede academics in college sports.

Brand broke the news that he had cancer in January at the NCAA convention and continued to run the organization's day-to-day operations. The NCAA announced his death. Officials were not ready to announce who would replace Brand or when they may begin searching for a successor.

Brand gained national attention in May 2000 when he put Knight on a zero-tolerance policy after a former player alleged the hugely successful but hot-headed coach had choked him during a practice years earlier.

Four months after that announcement, freshman Kent Harvey accused Knight of grabbing him, and Brand did what fans considered unthinkable - firing the coach who won three national championships in Bloomington.

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