The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) membership committee has reportedly given a conditional nod to Simon Fraser University, making it the first Non-American University member.
A final vote by the executive council on August 1 will decide if SFU will officially become a full member. If the vote passes the university would gain the status effective from September 1 and NCAA would have jurisdiction beyond our northern border into British Columbia, Canada, reports NBA sports.
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“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.
SFU has been barred from the post season because of a rule disqualifying schools that are not accredited by a US Accreditation Agency, despite being competed at the NCAA level for three years.
However, NCAA approved an exception at its annual conference allowing the SFU clan to compete for championships starting this fall as part of the Canadian pilot program, recognizing that this sort of accreditation does not exist in Canada.
In the statement released by the Senior Director of Athletics and Recreation Milton Richards, he has said that being the only non-American school in the NCAA can be a “huge motivator “to the student-athletes.
In 2011-12, SFU went through its provisional membership year in the NCAA, in the school's second season at the Great North-West Athletic Conference (GNAC).
As a provisional member, the Clan had several GNAC champions in track and field, and the men's soccer program won its second consecutive GNAC title. In addition to that, the women's basketball team recorded the school's first ever NCAA conference playoff victory, defeating Seattle Pacific to reach the semi-finals of the GNAC championship tournament.
Fall sports teams will begin preparing for their first season in pursuit of NCAA national championships in mid-August.