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SFU Sports Hall of Fame football inductees 'demand' removal

Request by 11 SFU alumni a sign of solidarity over program cancellation.
Simon Fraser University announced on April 4 it was ending its football program permanently.

Nearly a dozen football alumni currently enshrined in the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Sports Hall of Fame have "walked out" and are "demanding" their removal over the recent decision to cancel the university's program. 

In a news release, the SFU Football Alumni Society said the move is in solidarity with the players affected by the termination of the varsity football program. 

"They would be happy to return when the football program is reinstated after the administration’s sudden decision on the future of football on April 4."

The inductees that are withdrawing are Lui Passaglia, Sean Millington, Glen Jackson, Terry Bailey, Doug Brown, Dave Cutler, Wayne Holm, Rick House, Neil McKinlay, Rob McLaren and Orville Lee. 

"I don't wish to be affiliated with or have my prior football career 'bring excellence' to a university that no longer recognizes collegiate football as a worthwhile entity or endeavour for young amateur athletes throughout British Columbia," Passaglia said in the release. 

On April 4, president Joy Johnson announced that the Burnaby post-secondary school decided to immediately end its football program.

Earlier this year, SFU said the Texas-based Lone Star Conference decided not to renew its affiliate membership agreement with the Red Leafs and the upcoming scheduled season would be their last, leaving the school without a league to play in starting in 2024. 

In response to the cancellation, a civil claim on behalf of SFU football players Gideone Kremiler, Kimo Hio, Andrew Lirag, Ryan Barthelson and Dayton Ingenhaag was filed in B.C. Supreme Court on April 13, claiming the school had breached its contract with players. 

In an interview with the NOW on April 5, SFU athletic director Theresa Hanson said the school explored "all avenues" to keep the program going

Last week, SFU announced Johnson had directed the school to appoint a special advisor to review and make recommendations regarding potential sustainable opportunities for football.