Liberty Athletics will embark on its first season of FBS football next month with the full support of the NCAA Division I Strategic Vision and Planning Committee.
Earlier this week, Liberty Athletics received notification the committee had approved a submitted annual report and updated strategic plan, agreeing to advance the athletics program to Year Two of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) reclassification process.
"We are excited to progress into year two of the Football Bowl Subdivision reclassification process and appreciate the support from the NCAA Strategic Vision and Planning Committee," said Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. "President Falwell's leadership and commitment has afforded the football program the necessary infrastructure to succeed at the highest level of college football."
On Feb. 16, 2017, the NCAA approved Liberty's waiver request to begin the two-year FBS reclassification process.
Liberty Athletics has spent the last 17 months meeting all the necessary requirements for the FBS reclassification process, including playing its final season at the FCS level during the 2017 season. Liberty was a member of the Big South Conference during the 2017 season, but was not eligible for postseason competition.
Last week, Liberty announced a secondary bowl agreement with the AutoNation Cure Bowl for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Although Liberty is currently in the middle of its two-year FBS transition process, the NCAA bylaws do have provisions for the Flames to qualify for a bowl game in 2018 now that they have successfully transitioned to Year Two of the FBS reclassification process, and if they are a deserving team.
Teams from the Sun Belt Conference and American Athletic Conference are scheduled to play each year in the AutoNation Cure Bowl. However, in years in which either conference does not have enough deserving teams, defined as meeting the six qualifying win threshold, other FBS teams may be substituted before consideration would be given to five-win teams.
Rise With Us: The Process
On Feb. 16, 2017, the NCAA approved Liberty's waiver request to begin the two-year FBS reclassification process. Liberty completed its final season as a FCS program in 2017, playing as a member of the Big South Conference.
The Flames will host their first FBS home game against Old Dominion on Sept. 1, the first of four FBS teams to visit Williams Stadium in 2018 to meet the FBS reclassification criteria. The 2018 home schedule also features FBS matchups against North Texas (Sept. 22), Troy (Oct. 13) and New Mexico State (Nov. 24).
In the event that Liberty is invited to the AutoNation Cure Bowl, Flames Club members will have priority for tickets and other associated events and privileges.
Fans can support Liberty Football by joining the Flames Club, which exists to underwrite Liberty Athletics' three-fold mission to train Champions for Christ, provide a world-class student-athlete experience and achieve victory with integrity.
Flames Club membership starts at just $60 and members can enjoy preferred parking, seating and pregame hospitality benefits, based upon membership level. For more information about the Flames Club, please call 434-582-CLUB (2582) or email FlamesClub@liberty.edu.
For more information about becoming a football season ticket holder, please contact the Flames Ticket Office at (434) 582-SEAT (7328) or email@example.com.