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By David Pickle
The first NCAA membership division to accommodate Canadian members now has been asked to look the other way − as in Mexico.
The examination is in an extremely preliminary stage, but the Division II Membership Committee will consider a letter from a Mexican government official inquiring about possible NCAA membership for at least one school in that country.
Bernardo de la Garza Herrera, director general of the National Sports Commission of Mexico, expressed interest in Division II membership since the “perspective, goals and dimensions of this program suits our abilities and (interests).”
Simon Fraser University from Canada currently is in its final year of Division II provisional membership and is expected to become the NCAA’s first active international member. International membership became possible through a pilot program that was approved at the 2008 Convention.
“We know about the proceedings recently initiated by Canadian universities,” wrote de la Garza Herrera, “and Mexico would like to follow up in this pilot program.”
All NCAA institutions in Puerto Rico also are affiliated with Division II.
Division II Presidents Council chair Drew Bogner of Molloy College said it’s too early to tell how the Mexican request will turn out.
“It’s an interesting idea,” he said. “We’ve really had no in-depth conversation about it, either at a committee level or at the Presidents Council level. There may be particulars of which I’m not aware that might make it more or less advantageous, but it’s really early to tell.
“But in keeping with the way we responded to Canadian institutions, I think we’re open to it.”