Myles Brand, the first academic in 50 years to head the National Collegiate Athletic Association and perhaps best known as the man who, as president of Indiana University, fired legendary basketball coach Bob Knight, died today of pancreatic cancer; he was 67, the New York Times reports. The former philosophy professor spearheaded academic reform, instituting a system under which universities are penalized if student-athletes don’t meet certain standards.
Brand was also the driving force behind an NCAA ban on team nicknames and mascots seen as offensive to Native Americans. One issue Brand couldn’t solve, the Times notes, was the Bowl Championship Series, which decides the football champion. “It’s more frustrating than anything I can think of,” Brand said in December. “I can’t see my way clear to the solution.”