NCAA Pres. Myles Brand Goes on the Record

This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, February 24, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Colorado University football coach Gary Barnett remains on administrative leave. Joining us from Indianapolis [to comment on the situation at Colorado University] is the president of the NCAA, Myles Brand.

Welcome, Myles.


VAN SUSTEREN: Myles, are you surprised by the allegations against the program at the University of Colorado or is this something that the NCAA has been dealing with for quite some time?

BRAND: These are very severe allegations and I am somewhat surprised.We used to hear about these types of issues a decade or so ago, but for the last half dozen years, these kinds of issues have not surfaced. I am indeed surprised.

VAN SUSTEREN: Does the NCAA have any sort of power or muscle over the recruitment practices of university programs?

BRAND: What the NCAA does is set the standard across the nation. In fact, we have rules about how long student athletes should be on campus, how much money should be spent.

But our rules about behavior have been imprecise. We have depended upon common sense and common decency. Apparently, that's not adequate.And we are going back with a special task force and a quick turnaround action to put in place the behaviors that we expect the student athletes and the schools to follow.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think that the university is somewhat complicit, in a hypothetical situation, where, sort of with a nod or a wink, it has these sort of off campus recruitment parties, which the university — aren't official university parties, but are sort of with a nod and wink, designed to lure the recruits to the campus?

BRAND: That kind of behavior is morally reprehensible, and we expect that college athletic directors, certainly coaches, and most assuredly the presidents, pay attention to this and don't allow that allow to happen.

In fact, I consider this a wake-up call for college presidents to assure in each of their programs that we're not seeing these kinds of activities take place.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You say you that have not regulated behavior to this point. If the NCAA determines that this is a behavior it does want to regulate it, what's your remedy for a violation?

BRAND: Well, we will put in place the appropriate behavioral constraints and prescriptions. Then we would expect that to be enforced on campus. Each campus has a compliance officer who's expected to oversee that enforcement.

When the rules are abridged, then an infraction occurs and, if necessary, we will investigate and indeed sanction.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. In a situation, where — let's say right now, hypothetically, that the allegations against the University of Colorado are indeed true but you don't have those rules in place in the NCAA now. Can you retroactively now impose some sanction on the university?

BRAND: Well, the most major severe sanction we could consider, what we call a major infraction that could lead to various serious steps, post- season — keeping schools out of post-season play or even worse — it depends upon institutional control. If we think that the athletic department and the football program in particular, at any university, whether it's Colorado or any other, is not under the control of the institution, both in terms of the mission and expectations of that institutions. Then we will take action and those rules are already in place, in severe cases like this one.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Myles, thank you very much.

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