Feasibility study to determine FBS upgrade

Liberty University is in the process of conducting a feasibility study to determine if a jump from its current NCAA DI-AA status in the FCS to NCAA DI-A in the FBS would be possible and, if so, what that jump would require.

“It’s us looking at every piece or every facet of our department and trying to determine what it would take to move our program to the next level,” Liberty Athletic Director Jeff Barber said.

Members of the athletic communication department at Liberty cite exhaustive research as a part of the study. Superlative and average statistics are investigated. Facility dimensions are recorded. Photographs of facilities are taken.

“There’s certain requirements you must have, the teams you play,” Barber said. “So you look at your staffing, you look at your facilities and you look at your programming and you decide, that’s the level the FBS has. Are we doing things in that way?”

Liberty’s exploration of larger programs parallels closely to the vision Dr. Jerry Falwell Sr. had for the school and for the athletic programs.

“The vision that Dr. Falwell had was for us to be a major university and major universities are in the FBS or BCS, so that’s our long-term goal — to be FBS and then BCS, which means a bigger school and a bigger program,” Barber said. “Our goal would be to be in the SEC or the ACC, or the Big 10, or those kinds of conferences someday.”

No official move has been announced or scheduled, according to Barber.

“At this point, it’s just us doing our study and (the move) is not something we’ve announced for sure,” Barber said. “That’s why you do this study — to see where you are and then you present all that to the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees and that’s when you decide whether it’s doable, feasible, and at that point, that’s when things will start happening.”

A meeting with Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. is scheduled for March 20.

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