- - Thursday, February 16, 2017

Will the Liberty Flames football team one day play for the NCAA’s national championship? As of today, that is now a possibility. The University announced the NCAA has approved its waiver request for FBS reclassification, moving the football program into bowl eligibility as soon as 2019.”

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.

Liberty joins Baylor University as only the second evangelical school, as defined by being a member of The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), to gain entrance into the FBS system. 

Jerry Falwell Jr., President of Liberty, said:

“Today is truly historic for Liberty University. 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. Congratulations to Athletics Director, Ian McCaw and Coach Turner Gill! We are grateful to have had the assistance of Dennis Coleman and his colleagues of Ropes & Gray to help navigate the NCAA process over the last year.”

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