The Simon Fraser University Football Alumni Society (SFUFAS) have partnered with B.C. Lions’ owner Amar Doman to try to help save the institution’s discontinued football team.
The SFUFAS will hold ‘1 Day 4 SFU Football’ on Tuesday, April 25 with the goal of raising money in support of the program. The donations will be used as financial aid for SFU football student-athletes, many of whom could not pursue a postsecondary eduction without financial support.
“We feel as SFU Football Alumni we need to provide more financial support to the football program and student-athletes, even if SFU administration says that their recent decision isn’t about money,” said SFUFAS chair Mark Bailey in a statement. “Stakeholders agree we need to help improve the program now and when it returns.”
Doman has publicly supported the efforts of the SFUFAS to have the program reinstated. He plans to make a “significant donation” for every 100 people who choose to donate as part of next week’s event. The goal is to have more than 1,000 people make donations with up to $500,000 being donated by Doman and his fellow community leaders.
“We are doing everything we can to save SFU football, not only for the 2023 season that’s upcoming but certainly for the future and for the decades to come,” Doman said in a video statement on his team’s Twitter account. He also encouraged supporters to sign the petition to reinstate the program.
The SFUFAS is currently in discussions with SFU president Dr. Joy Johnson regarding the future of the football program. The organization remains committed to engaging with the administration to develop a sustainable path for football in 2023 and beyond.
Simon Fraser athletic director Theresa Hanson claimed the football program was eliminated due to not having a conference in which to play beyond 2023. She also admitted that the school did not formally request to join U Sports due to the “incredibly complex” application process that would have had to be undertaken.
An injunction was filed last week in B.C. Supreme Court to reinstate the football program. This was the latest show of support from the Canadian football community to revive the program. Former CFL players and SFU alums Doug Brown and Glen Suitor have spoken up about their disappointment in the university’s decision.
Others who have spoken out include CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie, the CFL Players’ Association, Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ president and CEO Wade Miller, and former Toronto Raptors’ head coach and SFU alumnus Jay Triano.