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Liberty football to make move to FBS

libertyLiberty University received notification today that the NCAA has approved its request to enter into the Football Bowl Subdivision reclassification process.

“Today is truly historic for Liberty University,” school president Jerry Falwell said. “This university aspired to compete at the highest levels of NCAA competition and began working toward that dream and vision from the day of its founding in 1971. We are deeply grateful to NCAA leadership and staff for considering this request and for acknowledging Liberty’s readiness and the appropriateness of Liberty now moving to FBS football status as an independent.”

Liberty submitted a waiver request with the NCAA in January, seeking relief to enter into the two-year FBS reclassification process without an invitation to join a FBS conference.

The NCAA academic and membership affairs staff approved the request after seeking feedback from the NCAA Division I Strategic Vision and Planning Committee, the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee and the NCAA office of legal affairs.

The NCAA waiver approval was based upon Liberty providing substantial information demonstrating its readiness to begin the reclassification process, Liberty’s ability to follow current FBS institutions who have demonstrated viability without a conference affiliation and the university’s ability to satisfy FBS requirements.

Starting with the 2017-18 academic year, Liberty’s football program will begin the two-year FBS reclassification process.

Liberty will compete as a FBS independent during the 2018 season, which includes having three FBS home games. The football program will be bowl eligible starting with the 2019 season and will be required to play at least five home FBS opponents.

“This is a very exciting day for Liberty Athletics and our football program,” said Liberty athletics director Ian McCaw. “We are grateful for President Falwell’s vision and leadership in spearheading Liberty’s move to FBS football. We look forward to continuing our upward trajectory of success and meeting the level of competition in FBS.” 

“This is truly a blessed day from Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior for allowing the vision of our late founder Jerry Falwell, Sr., along with the hard work of President Jerry Falwell to come to fruition! It gives our university great national exposure to build Champions for Christ!” Liberty coach Turner Gill said.

Liberty’s football program had competed in the Big South Conference since 2002 and won eight conference titles (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016).

The program made its first-ever NCAA FCS Playoff appearance in 2014, when the Flames advanced to the second round of the playoffs.

 

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