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Special adviser says Simon Fraser University football exhibition plan not feasible

Simon Fraser University Simon Fraser University - The Canadian Press

BURNABY, B.C. — Simon Fraser University's athletic department says its football program will not play exhibition games this year as it is "not feasible."

The decision comes after an independent adviser was appointed in early May to review the possibility of its cancelled football program playing exhibition games in the fall.

The university said in a statement that the adviser, Bob Copeland, spoke to more than 275 people and concluded that playing competitive exhibition games poses safety and logistical concerns.

His review's conclusions were accepted by the university, with the school adding that the recommendations were in the best interests of student-athletes' safety and academic performance.

Simon Fraser University president Joy Johnson said on April 4 that the school was discontinuing its football program, effective immediately. She added the decision wasn't financially based, but rather on the Texas-based Lone Star Conference's announcement it would not renew its football affiliation with Simon Fraser past the 2023 campaign.

A full and independent assessment of the future of SFU football remains ongoing, with a final report expected this September.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 13, 2023.