The NCAA’s Division II has expanded its reach to Mexico, the vote passing on Saturday which allows colleges to now apply for membership. Members that want to be approved have to meet DII standards in order to join, as reported by ABC News. While no Mexican schools have applied yet, those that do will have to go through a provisional period that lasts three years before joining fully.
A guess as to who could apply for membership first could be Cetys University, which last February petitioned the NCAA to join DII. Overall, there are a lot of benefits to having programs in Mexico:
Given that there is a dearth of Division II programs in the American West, adding a program in Mexico, one that’s only about an hour’s drive from San Diego, could help save on travel costs and make scheduling easier in some sports. The CCAA does not sponsor football, so Cetys may end up playing in the Great Northwest Conference, with powerhouse Humbolt State and Simon Fraser. An American college football game between a Mexican university and a Canadian university would be pretty fun. It may be winnable for Cetys too, since Simon Fraser finished 0-10 last year.
Plus, it would give students at both schools increased opportunities for cultural exchanges and new experiences, which is part of the entire dang point of college sports.
“We believe it would help in the vast Western region and would create a valuable cultural experience for the global world we are preparing our students to live in,” Delta State president Bill LaForge said via ABC News.
Ten years ago, the NCAA approved accepting Canadian schools, and in 2012, Simon Fraser in Vancouver, British Columbia became the only non-U.S. full-time member.
As for college football, it’s obviously a predominantly American sport, but it’s growing internationally, with multiple games being played outside of the U.S. in the past:
Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and the United Kingdom have college leagues for American football, so there’s technically college football happening all over the world anyway. But if we just look at times American colleges have played games elsewhere, we have a map like this, spanning from the 1870s in Canada to this year’s games in Sydney and Ireland (Boston College-Georgia Tech in Dublin):
We’ll see which Mexican schools end up applying — regardless of how many end up joining full-time, it’s pretty awesome to see the NCAA expanding in 2018.