"Two years after the NCAA opened its doors to Canadian schools, at least one — Simon Fraser in Burnaby, British Columbia — is poised to walk in.There are few surprises in there; UBC will reportedly make their call in early March as well.
The University of British Columbia likewise is weighing a move to join its rival as the NCAA's first international members. Both would join Division II.
"... Simon Fraser administrators have signed off on its move, athletics director David Murphy said, and the university is pursuing U.S. academic accreditation as required by the NCAA. Final clearance still must come from the school's board of governors, which meets March 5."
— USA Today
Those who predicted the Great Northwest Athletic Conference losing a football team (Western Washington U.) might increase UBC and and SFU's chances of jumping to that league can probably start limbering up for a victory lap.
Losing two member schools should at least be some cause for some serious self-examination at the conference and national level. It gives those who are cynical about Canadian university sport plenty of ammunition. It very might well have been that UBC and SFU could have been guaranteed an automatic berth in every national championship and still would have sought out the NCAA, but that cannot be known for sure. There is the aspect that both schools were a square peg in a round hole playing against Canadian schools, and there is the whole aspect of whether UBC was turning up its nose at being in the same league with the alleged riffraff from the B.C. Interior, such as relative CIS newbies such as Thompson Rivers and Fraser Valley, not to mention applicants such as the University of Northern British Columbia?
It really hurts Canada West football. A five-team league doesn't not sound like great fun, unless UBC Okanagan joins.
Whatever side you come down on, you'll get a chuckle out of UBC's hockey team, which could be cut (there is no D-2 hockey and D-1 membership has been capped) being referred to as "Division I-level." If the Thunderbirds, last in Canada West with five wins in 18 games, are Division 1 level, then what are the Alberta Golden Bears?
There will be on this over at cisblog.ca.
Simon Fraser, British Columbia considering move to NCAA (Steve Wieberg, USA Today)