The outcome was never really in doubt, but now it's official: Simon Fraser University has become the first Canadian school to join the NCAA. From the press release...
In a historic return to its athletic roots, Simon Fraser University was approved today as the first non-U.S. member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the world’s largest college sports organization.
Beginning with the 2011-12 season, after a two-year transition period, all of SFU’s Clan varsity teams will compete in the NCAA’s Division II in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC).
The Division II membership committee approved SFU’s application at its meeting today (Friday, July 10) at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis IN.
"This is a first for a Canadian university, and it reflects SFU's long history of competing in U.S. varsity associations and conferences,” said SFU President Michael Stevenson.
“It means a high level of competition and challenge for our athletes. As has always been the case, our primary concern is that our athletes succeed as students. The NCAA has strong academic requirements and we will maintain the high academic standards that SFU has always demanded from all Clan teams.”
SFU now has 19 Clan teams competing in the small-college National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in the U.S. and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS). One, men’s wrestling, now competes in both NAIA and CIS.
GNAC includes nine full-member schools in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, and four football-only members in Washington, California, Utah and Oregon.
Aside from football, SFU is planning on moving all of its teams to the NCAA for the 2010-2011 year. In the upcoming year though, all SFU teams are set to play in the CIS as though nothing has happened—at the CIS AGM in May, a motion was defeated that would have put SFU on probation immediately after applying for formal membership.
Simon Fraser University wins NCAA entry as first non-U.S. member (Lyndon Little, Vancouver Sun)