Liberty University is reportedly heading to the FBS level after competing in college football’s FCS division.
This news was revealed earlier this afternoon. Once it was made public, the opinions poured in on Twitter from media members and fans alike.
You see, Liberty brings baggage along with it. Namely, the school’s AD is Ian McCaw. McCaw presided over Baylor athletics during the football program’s sexual assault scandal, the fallout of which is still ongoing.
Because of this, many people are unhappy with Liberty making the leap. To top things off, the Flames and Bears open up the 2017 season against each other.
With former Baylor AD Ian McCaw leading the way. Hope nobody schedules Liberty. https://t.co/NOSw2ywBd1
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) February 16, 2017
Baylor opens its 2017 season against…yep, Liberty. https://t.co/Ut5DDctEH0
— Max Olson (@max_olson) February 16, 2017
Bizarre subplot to this: Ian McCaw, the AD who presided over one of the ugliest scandals in sports (& then got hired by Liberty) back in FBS https://t.co/wIM2EFkxh5
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 16, 2017
I think any conference that adds Liberty right now is making a big mistake. And if Liberty wants to go it alone, they're making a bigger one
— Matt Brown (@MattSBN) February 16, 2017
"Ian McCaw may have overseen rampant sexual abuse at Baylor, but he got us to the FBS. He's fine." — Liberty administrators, I assume.
— Josh Newman (@Joshua_Newman) February 16, 2017
So, Ian McCaw travels to Waco for Liberty opener at Baylor … and is served a subpoena in the press box. #JustAThought
— Wendell_Barnhouse (@WBBBPB) February 16, 2017
I want to reiterate, as long as Liberty has Ian McCaw, I don't want App State to be associated with that school in any single way.
— Thomas K (@tkhighcountry) February 16, 2017
As you can see, this is not a popular move. Liberty, a non-profit Christian university, has its hands full from a PR standpoint in the coming months.
On the field, Liberty has been successful under head coach Turner Gill. The former Buffalo and Kansas coach has led the program to a 35-35 record in his five seasons. Under Gill’s tutelage, the Flames have tied for first place in the Big South Conference four times and reached the FCS playoffs once.