Liberty joining FBS in 2018

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Liberty University's waiver request to be reclassified as an FBS team has been approved by the NCAA, according to the university's athletics department Twitter account.

The school says it received the notification Thursday.

The Flames are expected to begin the two-year transition this fall and be classified as an FBS Independent in 2018 with the hopes of joining a conference the following year.

The Flames will compete as an independent when they begin the process starting with the 2017-18 academic year. "We are grateful for President Falwell's vision and leadership in spearheading Liberty's move to FBS football". They will be bowl eligible and required to have at least five FBS home games in the 2019 season.

Without an FBS conference affiliation, Liberty said it presented "substantial information demonstrating its readiness" to the NCAA to make its case for approval to jump up a level. 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. McCaw resigned from his position at Baylor last May after he was sanctioned by the university for his involvement in the sexual and physical assault allegations levied against the Baylor football program. "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 past year".

Liberty will open the 2017 season against Baylor.

Two years ago Liberty announced that it would offer full cost of attendance scholarships for all 20 sports including football - the first Football Championship Subdivision program to do so.

Liberty will join Virginia, Virginia Tech and Old Dominion as the only colleges in the state that play at the FBS level.

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