January 14, 2008

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - NCAA Division II delegates approved a pilot program Monday allowing Canadian schools to apply for membership as soon as June 1, which could lead to Canadians competing in some Division I sports.

The program was approved by a vote of 258-9 on the final day of the NCAA convention and takes effect immediately.

Details still must be worked out, but the concept is designed to allow Canadian schools to enter into the pilot program and explore membership. Schools that meet the June 1 application deadline could start the process of joining Division II as soon as the 2008-2009 academic year.

The program allows the NCAA to study any logistical challenges from competing outside the United States.

The University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University are among six Canadian schools that have discussed NCAA membership. Simon Fraser belonged to the NAIA for more than 30 years before its American competitors moved to NCAA's Division II.

Some Canadian schools want to be able to award full athletic scholarships, which aren't allowed at Canadian universities.

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