Simon Fraser University was effectively approved as the first international member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association last Thursday.
"This is a special day for not only our studentathletes and staff but for the entire university," said Milton Richards, SFU's senior director of athletics and recreation in a press release. "There is a tremendous amount of pride around campus having achieved this goal."
The announcement came after the NCAA executive committee supported modifying the association's accreditation policies to account for international schools that have attained their nation's equivalent of accreditation and have been accepted into candidacy in a U.S. accreditation program.
This status means that beginning this fall, SFU varsity teams will be eligible to compete for regional and national championships. SFU will also now have voting rights at the NCAA convention.
"Now that we know that we're Canada's first NCAA school, our studentathletes and coaches can really focus on the next step of winning an NCAA national championship," says Richards.
Now entering its third year as the only nonAmerican school in the NCAA, SFU was previously unable to compete in the post-season because of existing organization accreditation policies.
The recommendation was approved in July by the NCAA's membership committee and now by its executive committee.
As per the new requirement, SFU is continuing to pursue accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Once ratified by the NCAA's Presidents' Council on Aug. 9, SFU membership will take effect on Sept. 1.
Since the NCAA's president's council originally proposed the amendment, it will almost certainly approve the revised legislation.