Lynah, James - NCAA executive, 1978
Lynah attended public schools in Savannah and went to Clemson University in 1899, where he was a member of the varsity for three years. He played under coaching great John Heisman and served as team captain for one year. He later transferred to Cornell University, where in 1904 he captained the team and played under another legendary coach, Glenn S. Warner. At Cornell, Lynah was a rugged halfback and quarterback. He was also a fine end and was considered one of the top players in the East.
In the 1940s, Clemson picked an All-Time Team that included Lynah as one of the top twenty-two players in the school’s history. In 1935, after retirement from distinguished careers with DuPont and General Motors, Lynah became Cornell’s first athletic director – a position he held from 1935-44.
While at Cornell, Lynah led the drive that resulted in the formation of the Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which later became the ECAC. In 1948, Lynah was named chairman of the NCAA enforcement panel, which became known as the “NCAA Sanity Code.” He played a key role in the investigations of alleged violations of the code by any of the member universities and colleges. Fearless in his convictions, he took a strong stand on control of recruiting and devoted many years to improving procedures of the NCAA. Lynah was also a significant proponent in forming the Ivy League in football, established nearly six months after his death in 1956.