Related Press Releases:
NCAA Approves Liberty's Waiver Request for FBS Reclassification Process (Feb. 16, 2017)
Game On Feature: FBS Dream Becomes Reality (Feb. 22, 2017)
Liberty Athletics Benefits from Billion Dollar Campus Transformation Project (March 7, 2017)
Game On Feature: Gill Discusses FBS Plans Inside Practice Facility (March 15, 2017)
Future FBS Opponents Named in President Trump’s Address (May 13, 2017)
Q. When will Liberty begin playing football at the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) level?
A. Liberty football will begin participating at the FBS level beginning with the 2018 season. Liberty will play a Big South Conference schedule in football during the 2017 season. However, the Flames will not be eligible for the Big South Conference championship or an NCAA FCS Playoff berth.
Q. What does it mean when one says Liberty is now participating at the FBS level?
A. The main difference is, Liberty will now be playing football at the highest collegiate level of competition and will be eligible to play in a Bowl game beginning in 2019. FBS permits 85 scholarships to be awarded to student-athletes, while FCS only permits 63 scholarships. As an FBS football program, Liberty will be competing at the highest level, against some of the most recognizable schools from the Power 5 conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12, SEC), and other FBS schools from the Group of 5 (MAC, Conference USA, Mountain West, American and Sunbelt) with many of them playing Liberty on campus in Williams Stadium. Previously, FBS teams in these conferences were unwilling to play Liberty in Lynchburg because the Flames were an FCS participant.
Q. How can I get Liberty Football tickets?
A. Season tickets for the upcoming 2017 football season are now on sale. Season tickets for the 2018 football season, Liberty’s first season of competition at the FBS level, are also available now. You can place your order today for 2018 football season tickets and hold it with a non-refundable deposit of $25 per season ticket. The balance will be due in full by May 15, 2018. To ensure yourself the best seat possible, as well as to obtain reserved parking, you will need to join the Flames Club (see http://www.liberty.edu/flamesclub/), Liberty Athletics’ fundraising arm.
Q. What is the Flames Club and how much does it cost?
A. The mission of the Flames Club is to raise financial support for Liberty Athletics and to ensure that Liberty’s coaches and student-athletes have everything they need to compete at the championship level. Members of the Flames Club enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that their financial gifts are more than monetary contributions – they are investments in the lives of Liberty’s student-athletes. These gifts provide Liberty’s student-athletes with the academic foundation, athletic disciplines and spiritual training that will help them to be successful in life. Flames Club members are rewarded with preferred seating, parking, and hospitality privileges, based upon membership level. Memberships are extremely affordable, beginning at just $60.
Q. How will this affect the football schedule?
A. The move to FBS will have a positive effect on Liberty’s schedule as the Flames will now be able to secure home games with schools from the Power 5 and Group of 5 conferences. When that happens, we anticipate a significant increase in season ticket sales. The only way you will be able to secure a ticket to those game is if you are a Flames Club member, and/or, a season ticket holder. Individual game tickets do not go on sale until after Liberty’s season ticket sales campaign is over. With that said, we are encouraging everyone who has an interest in Liberty football, to join the Flames Club and order your season tickets.
Q. Is Liberty still a member of the Big South Conference?
A. Currently, Liberty is still a member of the Big South Conference. The football team is not eligible for the conference championship or the NCAA FCS Playoffs. Beginning with the 2018 season, Liberty football will be considered independent, so we will not be a member of the Big South Conference in football. The majority of Liberty’s other sports are currently members of the Big South Conference. Big South Conference bylaws state that in order to be a conference member, you must participate in each sport that the conference sponsors in which Liberty fields a team, unless the Council of Chief Executive Officers grants an exception to this requirement. We have indicated to the Big South Conference that we would like to remain a member of the conference. Liberty’s request is being considered at this time.
Q. With the increase in scholarships for football, how will Liberty look remain compliant with Title IX requirements related to the number of women’s athletic program offerings?
A. We will be reviewing Liberty’s sports sponsorship with a consultant later this spring along with participation numbers and expect to receive a recommendation regarding Liberty’s women’s sport offerings.
Q. Will Liberty look to expand Williams Stadium? If so, what type of additional amenities could fans expect to find in an expanded stadium?
A. We will be evaluating Williams Stadium in the context of the transition to FBS football. We want to provide high quality and exciting game day experiences for Liberty’s fans and make progress in terms of concessions, premium seating, restrooms and the overall game day atmosphere.