A feature in The New York Times explores Liberty University's ambition to rise to the top ranks of college football. University officials believe that much as the University of Notre Dame used football to become a focus of pride for Roman Catholics (most of whom have no direct tie to the institution), Liberty could do the same for evangelical Protestants. A key obstacle: Liberty's conduct rules (an alcohol ban on and off campus, for instance) may make recruiting difficult. Another caution: Liberty made a similar push to replicate Notre Dame's model in the late 1980s, hiring a former coach of the Cleveland Browns to lead its teams. The effort did not take off.
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