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With the first day of school fast approaching, athletics officials at major Texas universities are still pushing for a football season that brings thousands of fans back to stadiums and generates millions of dollars for their programs. University officials are rolling out plans that they say will keep both athletes and fans safe.
This comes as Texas is still combatting high hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, and as health officials continue to encourage people to keep distance from each other to prevent spread of the virus.
On Wednesday, the NCAA released guidelines intended to protect collegiate athletes, while expressing “serious concerns about the continuing high levels of COVID-19 infection in many parts of the nation.”
The NCAA’s three divisions must determine by Aug. 21 whether their respective fall sports seasons and NCAA championships should occur this year.
Here’s where the biggest Texas public conference schools stand.
How many fans will be allowed to attend?
The latest directive from Gov. Greg Abbott limits occupancy to no more than 50% of a stadium’s capacity. Many athletics officials seized on that number, including UT-Austin Athletics Director Chris Del Conte as recently as last week. With a capacity of 100,000, the University of Texas at Austin's Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium could potentially seat up to 50,000 fans.