The NCAA is nearing the final stages of a process that would fully extend its jurisdiction to reach beyond the borders of the United States and into our northern neighbor, Canada.
Simon Fraser University of British Columbia, Can., has been conditionally approved by the NCAA to become the first non-American school to be admitted as a full member.
A final vote by the executive council on August 1 will decide if SFU will officially become a full member. If that vote passes, the university would gain that status on September 1.
“SFU’s ability to participate in the NCAA as a full member provides numerous opportunities to the university not only in avenues it gives athletes to compete, but it will also build the profile of SFU throughout North America,” said SFU president Andrew Petter in a statement.
“Being able to compete for national championships in the NCAA will instill a sense of pride and engagement in the entire SFU community.”
SFU has already competed at the NCAA level for three years, but has been barred from the postseason because of a rule disqualifying schools that are not accredited by a US accreditation agency.
“In talking with our student-athletes, it’s very apparent that being the only non-American school in the NCAA is a huge motivator,” said Senior Director of Athletics and Recreation Milton Richards said in a statement.
“All of our athletes have a tremendous amount of pride being the first to compete for a Canadian school in the NCAA. This brings them all closer to their ultimate goal of winning an NCAA national championship.”
The school’s basketball team will get a taste of prominent NCAA basketball this upcoming season, as they travel to Utah and Utah State for exhibitions in early November of 2012.
Simon Fraser finished 8-18 this past season, including 3-15 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The GNAC is a Division II conference that also includes Western Oregon, Alaska Anchorage, Seattle Pacific, and others.
(h/t The Big Lead for the find)