SFU to be dropped from NCAA (continued discussion)

Maybe this story doesn't belong in a USports thread, but I'm hoping that it will come 2024.


mod edit: moved this post and it’s replies to its own topic separate from the main USports thread - GG


I don't post here very often but I follow USports/ CIS quite closely. I would hope this could be incentive for SFU to jump back to Canada West, but this almost certainly won't happen. The decision to play in NCAA is mostly budgetary, not as some people believe "a prestige" thing. Playing in the US conferences cuts travel costs considerably, the team travels by bus to all of their games, and some of these are very long trips. In contrast, because of geography UBC travels West Jet or Air Canada to every away game. I saw the recruiting process by UBC and SFU play out for quite a few players from BC High School who I knew very well, and I can say that this was a big factor in the decision to play at UBC. Also, the difference in scholarships offered to most players coming out of high school is not much different for the 2 schools. Amongst the high school players I knew well, SFU was considered a fall back option. You may respond with well, but Lamar Durant played SFU, yes he did, he also grew up in Coquitlam, very close to SFU and played high school at Centennial, and so this was a big factor in his decision to play at SFU. The Shrum Bowl was back last year since many years and it would be great to have this annual game mean something again.


Was this still true after they moved to the Lone Star Conference? IIRC, they even had to play most or all of their home games somewhere in the US last season.

I'd love to see another football program (or two) in BC to reduce travel costs for UBC (and SFU should they rejoin). UBCO was rumoured to be interested several years ago, but AFAIK nothing has come from that.

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I was reading a twitter thread by Jim Mullin today about SFU and USports and the complications involved. I guess they'd have to migrate all of their athletics to USports, not just football. Unless USports decides to grant them some special exemption.

I'm not sure how it worked in the 00s, when SFU played several seasons in USports.

They were a CIS member for almost every sport.

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Can’t be. Most of the conference played in the southern US; a far further distance than anything in Canada West.

Even their old GNAC conference had schools that were further away than anything in Canada West.

Prestige or their idea of prestige definitely plays a role. Some of their earliest literature had them boasting about playing in the US. Heck even recently they advertised being “Canada’s lone NCAA School”

Ya, sure they can say that but, the bottom line is they save considerably on travel, and that is a much bigger consideration overall.

The league that they were in folded in 2000 resulting in SFU joining CIS (Canadian Interuniveristy Sport) in 2001.

But they can come back in 2024 if they choose to .

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Actually they don’t. Only in football would that have been correct (back in e NAIA days). The GNAC had teams that were just as far as some of the teams in Canada West. This latest conference was the worst with the closest school being over a 24 hour drive away. At that point even the furthest. Canada West school is closer.

And football isn’t the only sport that would be considered by an athletic department. Sports like basketball and volleyball have conferences based solely in BC, so the travel argument doesn’t hold any water and shows what the real motivation is.
For example, the SFU basketball team would have 3 rivals within greater Vancouver alone. No American conference can even come close to matching that. The fact they sought out a conference in Texas of all places to play football in speaks volumes and shows their motivation. It’s prestige not travel. It’s time for SFU to give up on this outdated pipe dream and join Canada West for most sports

Hmm, ya SFU is strange that way. I did hear a lot of complaining about long bus trips though. Also, of the 8 years SFU was in CIS they only had 2 winning seasons. I note their record since jumping back to the US conferences they have a total of 17 wins in 12 seasons. As I mentioned from what I observed, they have trouble recruiting the top players from BC High School.

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Love to see SFU back in U Sports but that can be challenging if the issue of scholarships or in this case the lack thereof isn't addressed.

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At this point it is either go back to playing in Canada or go to the Frontier Conference in the NAIA, which has teams in Montana, Idaho and two in Oregon. But the NAIA is not nearly as prestigious as the NCAA Division II ranks.


Going back to the NAIA might be an option but not sure if the Frontier Conference has football that I am aware of.

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They do, but likely won’t have an interest in SFU


For sure. Once upon a time they were the only school in Canada that offered athletic scholarships so recruiting was easy for them as Canadian kids didn’t really get a look down south. It was for all purposes a Canadian AllStar team, and they achieved success.

Today of course, neither one of these situations exist, and SFU ends up with the leftover scraps from both sides of the border, with accompanying poor record.

And then going against Div II teams from Texas - Which is loaded with football players didn't help them out either.

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I don't know if they will or not - the Frontier just picked up a school in Arizona and is more or less the west coast NAIA football conference as there is nothing else out that far north and west in the States.

Picking up a lone Canadian school with other program is not an exciting proposition from either side.
At least with the NCAA SFU gets some revenues from the mother ship that offset some travel costs. This doesn’t exist in the NAIA.
Now if a group of Washington state based schools join, then you might have something like the original NAIA Conference SFU played in for years.
Back in those days travel truly was better than Canada West. This is not the case currently

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For sure. Even once the major programs pick the top recruits there’s still tons of good football players who want to play close to home as they get in state discounts for school if they aren’t on a full scholarship.
For SFU, we have a limited talent base north of the border, and you can only give out so many full ride scholarships before potential athletes need to pay at least a portion of their school fees for athletes coming from the south.
They’re swimming upstream from the get-go. It’s never going to work and the school needs to acknowledge this and give up their American dream

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