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SFU Football Issues

The new year brings various changes for all sports that have some questioning why changes were implemented initially.

We have seen changes within the BCHL pulling out of hockey Canada, the jump from Junior B by all  three provincial Junior leagues to name only two.

The past there has been many wondering about the removal of the football program at SFU while those with the school on the hill felt justified in taking the steps they did.

The decision by the school to drop the program has attracted criticism from various football programs in Canada but mostly from those who have strong connections to the program at the school.

Dino Geremia, a former 17 year coach at SFU mentioned “I don’t know if you could pick a worse time (to make this decision) they actually had the players go through spring camp and waited until that camp was over to make this announcement it is completely stealing away any opportunities that the players might have had to transfer to another university.”

The following is a report on Twitter (now X) posted September 19th which lays out various information on the how, what and possibly when issues.\

Enjoy the read:

The SFU Football Alumni Association (SFUFAS) stands prepared to chart the course for the resurgence of the SFU football program, following a recent report from Simon Fraser University (SFU) that left a clouded roadmap for its revival after the program’s cancellation on April 6. 

SFUFAS President Mark Bailey, acknowledging the absence of concrete recommendations in the report by Bob Copeland of McLaren Global Sport Solutions, emphasized, 

“Mr. Copeland was not asked to provide recommendations in the report but has illustrated the steps toward the reestablishment of the football program through Canada West and U SPORTS.”

Bailey further affirmed the alumni’s unwavering commitment, stating, “We are ready to support the effort in any fashion possible.” 

The extensive 136-page report also shed light on the overarching challenges plaguing SFU’s athletic department. 

This revelation hardly comes as a surprise, as the ill-fated NCAA experiment has proven to be a detriment to Canada’s sole NCAA institution. It is evident that the dysfunction within SFU athletics took root during SFU President Dr. Joy Johnson’s tenure as the helm of the university’s administration. 

The report stated, “The Department currently operates without a strategic plan. 

The lack of effective strategic planning in the Department is a concern, as is the lack of systematic evaluation of varsity programs and staff.” 

Bailey noted, “The lack of advocacy and leadership from SFU’s leadership to support SFU’s student-athletes has been apparent to us for years now.” He further expressed the frustrations of those who have strived to back their players and program while encountering administrative obstacles. 

Bailey added, “If it takes this report for Dr. Johnson to realize this, it’s welcome but long overdue.” 

To ensure the return of the program, the SFUFAS suggests that football resources should be placed in escrow until a way forward can be determined. 

“The endowments supporting football athletes, with money raised by football alumni, should remain dedicated to their intended purpose,” Bailey said. “The football equipment should be put into storage and not out to auction. That would be a measure of trust-building which between the university administration and the alumni along with the football community has been lacking,” he said. 

The community deserves clear communication from Dr. Johnson according to Bailey. “Is the issue around football’s future at SFU about money, or isn’t it? Are we applying to U SPORTS, or aren’t we? 

There has been a lot of mixed messaging from the administration, and if we can get clarity, we can start working together on a solution that restores the program and repairs the reputation of the university.” 

The SFU Football Alumni Association remains resolute in its dedication to the restoration of the football program, eager to collaborate with the university and its leadership to pave a clear and successful path forward.

Are we really shocked to hear that SFU parted ways with athletics Director Theresa Hanson in August who oversaw the scrapping of the football program and for whatever reason called it a “mutual agreement that the time is right for a change in direction.”

Stay Tuned!!!


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