Quarterback Tyler Vitt searches for a teammate to throw to at the Texas State football game vs. Troy, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2020, at Bobcat Stadium.

Football teams in the Sun Belt Conference will begin conference play during Labor Day weekend, the conference announced.

In the Aug. 4 announcement, the Sun Belt says the season will be comprised of an eight conference game schedule with an option for each team to add as many as four non-conference opponents, starting “Week Zero,” referring to the opening week of college football in Divison I.

“Sun Belt member institutions have focused since June on a safe return to athletic activities,” the conference said in the announcement. “We believe this timetable will allow for the healthy integration of the entire campus community for each Sun Belt member.”

The Sun Belt will host a championship game Dec. 5 between the East Division and West Division champions. If necessary, the conference says the date of the championship game may be adjusted.

“Sun Belt Presidents and Chancellors, Athletics Directors, the COVID-19 Advisory Panel, and medical advisors will continue to review data to ensure a safe return to activities and competition,” the conference said. “Our data review will cross seven states and 12 counties and include, among other things, infection rates, hospitalization rates, local health directives, advancements in COVID-19 testing and campus, department and team health trends.”

The announcement comes a day after Texas State announced it would move its season opener against SMU, a non-conference opponent, from Sept. 5 to Aug. 29, during Week Zero. According to Texas State’s ticket office, there are plans in place to have fans at football games at a certain capacity. An official announcement with specifics is expected to come soon.

The university announced in early July it was canceling all football tailgates for the 2020 season.

The University Star will provide updates as they are made available.

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