Sanctions on the way for SFU?

(There is new content farther down the page, but this is the talker. -- Ed.)

Since last week's official Simon Fraser/NCAA Div. II announcement, it's been all quiet on the (Canada) Western front. That might not be the case for long though. There's chatter that Canada West may impose sanctions which would reduce SFU's games in the upcoming year to exhibition status.

I emailed David Bandla, the communications chief for Canada West, whether sanctions had been discussed yet, and here's what he had to say:

The Canada West Universities Athletic Association conference is in the process of determining all the correct, official details associated with the Simon Fraser University application and any possible effects to the CWUAA.

Once Canada West Athletics is in a position to properly assess the situation, meetings will be held and we will prepare a response, however, there is no current timeline for such a response.

Which is pretty much a non-denial denial. You can't blame Canada West for considering this route though. To use a hackneyed analogy, SFU has demanded a divorce, has found another partner...but would still very much like to live with Canada West for a little while longer.

On the other hand, the recruiting season is at this point basically over, and SFU has said that they plan to move virtually all of their teams to the NCAA for the 2010-2011 year, so whether they've gained any sort of competitive advantage for the upcoming year is questionable.
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  1. In a related story... CIS President Marg McGregor was quoted as saying "......"

  2. I can't see any good reason for CW to impose sanctions on SFU.
    The school has done nothing illegal or under the table as far as I can see.
    The only reason why sanctions would be imposed IMO, is sheer spitefulness.
    Simon Fraser is leaving anyway, so what would the point be to impose sanctions in this their final year?
    If sanctions are imposed on SFU, you can bet that would only make for a really nasty relationship between the school and the CIS in the future.
    I believe there won't be sanctions but if there are, it won't reflect well on the CIS.

  3. I really think santions are a good idea and no it would not make the cis look bad.Look at like this if sfu wins a championship then leaves there will be no defending champion which would make the cis look really bad.Now with that said the other santion i would like to see is sfu could no join the cis for 20 years.The last things the cis needs is teams comming and going as they please.

  4. To be honest, it's best to play out the string with Simon Fraser and find a way to best proceed in the future.

  5. SFU never really wanted to join the CIS in the first place.
    The only reason they joined is because most of their NAIA brethren went D2 and they could not follow because they were a Canadian school.
    From the moment SFU joined the CIS almost a decade ago, the school has been looking for ways to get into D2.
    Really, the move to D2 only restores SFU to a position they preferred from the very inception of the university.
    From the beginning, SFU wanted to compete in the US as a Canadian school, free of the restrictions Canadian universities impose on scholarships.
    The sky didn't fall down for the CIS when they were in the NAIA, and now that they will again be competing in the US, I don't think its going to change things all that much for other CIS schools.

  6. SFU joined the Canada West as a bandaid looking the entire time to get back with a US collegiate association - the CIS and Canada West knew what they were getting into. Sanctions would accomplish nothing at this point - SFU doesn't want to be in the CIS moving forward so penalizing them would be more of a punishment to other Canada West teams as their travel to play SFU would be nothing more than an expensive exhibition game against a team with nothing tangible to play for. Keep the upcoming schedule the way it is, take a year to evaluate and come up with the best solution for scheduling etc. in the post-SFU era. Sanctions would be a rash decision. We're talking about SFU here too, a school who has wanted to be in the NCAA for years and has not put the CIS as it's first priority - not UBC, Alberta or another pillar of the conference. This story is fascinating in the fact that some people view it as SFU almost turning it's back on Canada - opting for the US route. Of course this is a big story, but its implications on the Canada West have been overstated. If this leads to a mass exodus of CIS schools (which it won't), then this can be looked back on as a turning point for CIS. The facts are that with Canada West expansion in recent years, the conference won't flounder without SFU. Move on and look at ways to improve the conference with the schools commited to the league. The only disappointing thing from this is that many good athletes won't be honing their skills in the CIS and instead in US DII. The overall results will be neglible in the long run.

  7. I don't think sfu leaving is that big of a deal.Now if it was a carleton or ubc then i think there would be reason for a concern


  8. @ Jayme: Simon Fraser did just win the national championship in women's basketball. That matters.

  9. It matters but there not really seen as a power house type school.


  10. SFU should be penalized and not allowed to play in any CIS playoffs. The games can count in the standings for the other CIS schools. If the SFU athletes want to go through the motions and get pounded thats fine with me.

  11. Do keep in mind the athletes are just pawns in the grand scheme, ultimately. It's tough for them.

  12. It's really not that tough for the athletes to be honest. Any kid recruited in the last two-three years (if not before then) knew that SFU was going forward with this. Sure maybe some of the seniors will get pinched if SFU get sanctioned but any new recruit knew this change was coming.

    Sanctions would be a tad messy for the upcoming year and in all honesty, the Clan are just going to make noise in one sport so probably not even worth it.

    Although, SFU has put fourth enough teams over the last decade that have played like they were being sanctioned, it probably wouldn't seem out of place.

  13. SFU should be penalized?
    For what?
    They have done nothing illegal or underhanded.
    Imposing sanctions would be done out of petty vindictiveness, nothing more.
    Honestly, I can't get over the vengeful tone of some of the posts here.
    It seems some people want their pound of flesh.

  14. Agreed that womens basketball is their only team of significance. On sanctions, why should their athletics be rewarded for skipping town by being allowed to participate in a league they don't want to be in? Like letting a cheating mate come home for some home cooking. They made their choice, CW should penalize them.

  15. Let's suppose that Canada West does indeed impose sanctions or penalties on SFU.
    What's stopping Simon Fraser from seeking a court injunction to overturn the ruling?
    IMO. Simon Fraser might have a pretty good case.
    Unless CW can prove that SFU violated specific league bylaws by seeking D2 status, the sanctions could be ruled invalid.
    Interesting some posters here liken SFU to a "cheating spouse",or that this is a "divorce"
    Well, let's not forget this was a "shotgun marriage" in the first place.
    SFU, from the beginning, has been open and above board on seeking D2 status.
    There has been nothing clandestine or sneaky about it.
    Finally, if Canada West does impose punitive sanctions on SFU, they should impose the same on UBC.
    The intent is the same, the only difference is SFU is in and UBC is still dreaming of NCAA glory.

  16. There is an unsigned article at the Globe and Mail's site, apparently in today's paper, that says pretty much everything we've been saying here. So there's not much new stuff, but for those who are interested:

  17. I really can't wait for all that SFU glory in NCAA Div. II when they beat a bunch of schools no one has ever heard of -- if they can even beat those schools.

    Let's be clear here -- UBC, Alberta, Calgary Victoria, hell even Sask or Manitoba are all far superior athletic programs to SFU. Div II makes sense to them because they want to be different not because they are in any way better than the majority of CW programs.

  18. I dont feel too sorry for the athletes. If they dont like the situation at SFU they can transfer to another CIS school. To hell with SFU.

  19. I just can't believe all the vitriolic comments about about Simon Fraser!
    "To hell with SFU"?
    Geez buddy, get a grip.
    You do realize SFU competed in the US for over thirty years before they joined the CIS, don't you?
    In the long run, I think Simon Fraser's departure will have little impact on the CIS.
    Therefore, I don't understand why so many are getting their shorts in a knot over this.
    Surely, there are more vexing problems in this country than this.

  20. The article I linked above has been updated; see Neate's post on it up top.

  21. One thing the CIS can do is allow any athlete currently present at SFU to transfer to another CIS school and team, without having to sit out a year before becoming eligible. The CIS does this now if a school discontinues a varsity sport.
    SFU is effectively discontinuing all their CIS varsity sports.