ATLANTA (AP) — Michael Adams thinks another university president will be picked to replace the late Myles Brand as the NCAA president.
He just doesn’t think it will be him.
The University of Georgia president worked closely with Brand as NCAA executive committee chairman, making him a logical candidate for the top office. But Adams insisted Friday night that he does not want to leave Georgia.
“It’s a compliment to the university,” Adams told The Associated Press. “We’re Georgians. We love it here. My family is happy here, and if the Regents will let me stay, I expect to be here. Is that clear enough?”
Brand was the first former university president to serve as NCAA president. He was 67 when he died of pancreatic cancer on Sept. 16.
Adams said the glowing tributes paid to Brand at this week’s NCAA convention are an indicator many believe another university president will be the choice to follow him.
Oregon State president Ed Ray, who replaced Adams as executive committee chairman, is heading the search. Ray said it’s important the next NCAA president continues Brand’s efforts, including his priorities of academic reform and diversity.
Possible candidates include University of Hartford president Walter Harrison, Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman, Penn State president Graham Spanier and NCAA executive Bernard Franklin, who was a college president before working with Brand as executive vice president.
Among others mentioned as candidates are Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, who was a finalist when Brand was hired in 2002, and SEC commissioner Mike Slive.
Ray heads a six-member search committee that includes Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman, Hampton University president William Harvey, Molloy College president Drew Bogner, Widener University president James Harris and Weber State president Ann Millner.
The six committee members and NCAA interim president James Isch are not considered candidates to become president.
Ray said the committee discussed this week if it is important that Brand’s successor be a university president.
“There is a sense that Myles did an excellent job as a former president,” he said. “In some sense maybe that will have some impact on the willingness of some chancellors and presidents to consider the possibility, but from our standpoint we’re not interested in pedigrees. We’re interested in values and getting the right person.”
Nevertheless, Adams said Brand’s work makes it more likely the committee will select another university president.
“It will be a broad, open search,” he said, “but I think Myles proved that it’s a good job for a university president and it’s good for the NCAA to have the university president. I would not want to say that exclusively, but I think there’s a built-in presumption that’s likely.”
Brand’s illness was disclosed at last year’s NCAA convention. This year’s convention, which ended Saturday, included honors and tributes to him.
The NCAA announced a $500,000 donation to the Myles Brand Chair in Cancer Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and Brand was posthumously honored with the Gerald R. Ford Award for his contributions to intercollegiate athletics.
His wife Peg and son Josh accepted the award.
“I’m impressed with the tributes to Myles,” Adams said. “I spent a good deal of time with Peg the last few days and I think it has helped her through a very difficult time. Myles, from where I stand, deserves whatever accolades he gets.”