SFU officially approved to be in NCAA


By Bryan Scott
Photos by Mark Burnham
The long wait comes to an end for SFU and NCAA dreams

It took two years of membership candidacy and one year of provisional status, but Simon Fraser Athletics has been approved as a full member of the NCAA. During this time, our teams have been prohibited from competing in the national championships due to their conditional status. After entering the NCAA in 2009, they competed in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) in 2010, and were granted provisional status in 2011.

As a full member of the NCAA, SFU Public Affairs and Media Relations reports that it means SFU varsity teams will be eligible to compete for NCAA championships beginning Sept. 1. It also means SFU receives voting privileges at future NCAA conventions. For Simon Fraser to get approved, the NCAA passed a recommendation to change the rules around its Canadian pilot program. The new regulations allow Canadian schools to be accepted as full members if they have been accepted as a candidate by a U.S. accrediting agency. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) has accepted SFU as a candidate and will have to continue through the process to ensure they remain in the NCAA.

In the 2011 season, most of the teams did well in their respective sports. The Men’s Soccer team will look for a third straight GNAC title and a chance to play in the national championship for the first time. The Football team have new recruits, and have slowly improved while adjusting to the new league. Their record last year was 3–7. The Women’s Basketball team was 17–11,  but did not win their conference. They had won two straight CIS championships prior to last year. For some players, this will be their first and last chance to get a crack at an NCAA title. Others did not get to chance to compete due to eligibility or graduation.

As a whole, the University can benefit from the situation while budding relationships between the neighbouring American schools develop further. SFU can show its colours while more attention is focused on the school in the coming months. Canadians all over the country have started to notice that British Columbia has more than the mighty UBC. It is our time to step up and show them what we have to offer. The 2012-13 season will be an exciting one for the Clan, as they look to prove to everyone they are out to play and win.