Liberty University received notification today that the NCAA has approved its request to enter into the Football Bowl Subdivision reclassification process.

Liberty University submitted the waiver with the NCAA in January, requesting relief to enter into the two-year FBS reclassification process without an invitation to join a FBS conference.

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The NCAA academic and membership affairs staff approved the request after seeking feedback from the NCAA Division I Strategic Vision and Planning Committee, the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee and the NCAA office of legal affairs.

"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," said Jerry Falwell, university president. "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."

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.