James L. Isch, the NCAA’s long-time chief financial officer, has been named interim president of the association,
replacing Myles Brand, who died last week of pancreatic cancer.
An NCAA administrative subcommittee made the appointment
yesterday after a lengthy meeting in Chicago and announced the decision this morning.
Isch emphasized he would not merely
be a “caretaker,” instead telling reporters on a conference call this morning that he would be “on the road”
pushing for four major initiatives Brand had championed: academic reform, fiscal stability, integration of athletics and academics,
and emphasis on the student athlete.
Isch said he was informed of the subcommittee’s decision yesterday afternoon,
and is still formulating his presidential plan.
The executive committee will meet Oct. 29 in Indianapolis
at its regularly scheduled quarterly meeting to discuss the search for the next NCAA president.
Isch and University
of Georgia President and NCAA executive committee chairman Michael Adams would not comment on who might be considered to become
the association’s permanent president.
Adams said a “broad, open national search,” would likely take
four months to complete, but no timetable has been set.
Prior to his death last week, Brand did give NCAA leaders some
thoughts on “four or five” people he thought could succeed him as NCAA president, Adams said, but he offered no
single candidate over the others for the job.
“Although I deeply regret the circumstance, I’m honored to
be named interim president, and I can assure all involved in intercollegiate athletics that we will continue on the course
that Myles set—one that keeps a keen focus on the academic achievement of all student-athletes,” Isch said. “Great
leaders like Myles Brand build strong organizations that can thrive regardless of the circumstance, and I’m confident
that we’ll continue our important work and move forward.”
“Jim Isch has played a key role in advancing
the organization under Myles, and the entire administrative subcommittee has complete confidence in his ability to lead the
association until a new president is named,” Adams said. “Jim has an incredibly impressive record, and I’m
confident that he will provide strong leadership for the association during this time of transition.”
been with the NCAA since 1998, serving as senior vice president and chief financial officer.
Isch previously was vice
chancellor for finance and administration at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Prior to that, he was vice president
for administration at Montana State University in Bozeman.
Isch has an undergraduate degree in accounting and a Ph.D.
from Kansas State University, and an MBA from Boston University.