There is, of course, never a “good” kind of cancer to get. It’s not like there’s a kind that makes you a better jogger or anything. But of the myriad varieties of the deadly disease, few are as ruthlessly fatal as pancreatic cancer, which boasts a nearly 95% mortality rate. It is bad, bad news. Patrick Swayze has it and is fighting for his life. And now so is NCAA President Myles Brand.
Brand announced his illness via a statement at the end of the annual NCAA convention, which the cancer has prevented Brand from attending this year. The note was as professional as you would expect from an administrator, owing his absence to “attend[ing] to a medical condition,” which makes it sound like he had a checkup he couldn’t reschedule. But the statement didn’t dance around the issue; Brand said his prognosis was “not good.”
This is an unfortunate final chapter on Brand’s saga, one that really started when he put his foot down and fired Bob Knight from Indiana, a controversial move at the time in light of the relatively minor incident that spurred it. Since then, he has led the NCAA in re-establishing a commitment to academics. The Academic Performance Rating (APR) is his baby, placing athletic scholarships at risk if a school has a track record of dropouts and transfers.
Brand is 66, which can’t really help his chances of remission or recovery, and his statement noted that they’d know “in a few months” if the treatment was successful. It’s chilling, but through that use of euphemisms, Myles Brand essentially told the NCAA that he’s probably only got a few months to live. We’re all rooting for Brand here at SbB, of course, and may he continue to give compliance officers sleepless nights for years to come.