media release

SFU’s varsity football program comes to an end

April 04, 2023

Simon Fraser University (SFU) is announcing that SFU’s varsity football program will no longer continue as of today, April 4, 2023.

Photos and b-roll  

“Given Simon Fraser University’s long and proud football history, this is a difficult decision, and not one taken lightly,” said SFU President Joy Johnson. “I want to thank all the student-athletes and coaches, past and present, for being part of that history. However, the football landscape has changed significantly in recent years and we no longer believe we are providing an exceptional experience for student-athletes.” 

In recent years, a number of football programs have been discontinued in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) and within the NCAA Division II. Outside of SFU, only two football programs remain in Division II west of Colorado. Seeking a place to compete, SFU joined the Lone Star Conference in the southwestern United States in 2021 for a two-year affiliate agreement. In January 2023, the Lone Star Conference Council of Presidents voted to not renew their affiliate agreement with SFU.  

“With the recent announcement that the team will not be invited to continue with Lone Star, we don’t have a conference to play in for 2024,” said Provost and Vice-President Academic pro tem Wade Parkhouse. “The ongoing uncertainty creates an unacceptable experience for students. As a leadership team, we concluded that football is no longer a feasible sport for SFU.” 

The university is making this decision now to give students time to make other plans for their athletic careers if they so choose. All students impacted are being supported with one-on-one guidance regarding next steps. We will support football athletes who want to explore options outside of SFU, and will honour athletic scholarship commitments for those who choose to remain at SFU and meet eligibility requirements for the 2023-24 school year.  

SFU is Canada’s only NCAA team. We are committed to excelling in the NCAA Division II in 18 varsity sports, with more than 300 student-athletes.


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