July 11, 2009

Deflection: Not Hockey - Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, BC) Goes NCAA

Simon Fraser first Canadian institution to be accepted into NCAA
It is now expected Simon Fraser will apply for membership in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The GNAC currently has nine full-fledged members — Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Fairbanks, Central Washington, Montana State Billings, Northwest Nazarene, Saint Martin’s, Seattle Pacific, Western Oregon and Western Washington — in five different states. In addition Humboldt State (Calif.) and Dixie State (Utah) are affiliate members in football only.
I'm so not surprised by this. If you're not aware of where Simon Fraser University is, it's located in Burnaby, which is a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. I've been there a number of times. My school, Western Washington University, would play them often for preseason basketball. The campus is pretty unattractive, actually - but so is the University of British Columbia's campus (which is in Vancouver proper). It's all concrete buildings.

Most importantly, when you're talking college sports, Simon Fraser has a football team. As in, American football. Simon Fraser will field the first Canadian college football team in the NCAA. It's only Division II football, so they won't be playing bowl games or anything. But they may play against Division I schools at some point in the future, depending on how things go overall in Division II for them. I've heard that a lot of the Canadian Olympic team trains at Simon Fraser - don't know how true that is, tho.

The other important part of that football picture is that it gives those of us trying to reinstate WWU's football team another valid argument for reinstatement. Part of the problem was travel. But if more schools out West have D-II football teams, then travel isn't much of an issue, now, is it.

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