LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -David E. Cawood, a former high-ranking NCAA executive who helped run the Final Four for more than two decades, died Sunday at his home in Louisville. He was 64.
Cawood had just finished his morning run and complained to his wife that he was not feeling well; he then collapsed and was rushed to a hospital, where resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, according to the NCAA Web site.
From 1975 to 1997, his NCAA responsibilities included the coordination of media and marketing for the men's Final Four. In that role, he helped negotiate the first $1 billion rights fee for a sporting event with CBS, and the subsequent $1.725 billion agreement.
``Dave was a very dedicated and talented individual,'' said Thomas W. Jernstedt, NCAA executive vice president. ``He also possessed a great knowledge of the association, and he could explain complicated concepts effectively, often using his great sense of humor.''
Cawood, a native of Harlan, was a first cousin of the late Cawood Ledford, the legendary radio voice of the Kentucky Wildcats.
Before joining the NCAA as director of public relations in 1974, Cawood was a sports information director at Morehead State, Eastern Kentucky, Baylor, his alma mater, Southern Methodist and Arkansas.
Cawood was a member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall of Fame and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame.
After leaving the NCAA in 1997, he joined Host Communications, an association management and athletics marketing company.
During his tenure at Host, he served as executive vice president of NCAA Football.
In April 2007, Cawood became president of FSA Group, an association management firm.
Cawood was a member of the board of directors of the Harlan Independent Schools Foundation.
He is survived by his wife, Sheila; a son, Jeff; and a brother.
Funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday in Harlan.

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